A mid-17th century, iron strongbox (safe) with its original, naïve, painted decoration

September 18, 2019 2:58 pm Published by

The top with fifteen, panels reinforced with strap work, and bolts and retaining their original stylised vignettes of flowers and birds The central rectangular key plate revealing the keyhole. The key operating the original locking mechanism on the interior of the lid throwing twelve bolts. Protected by a later inner lock plate engraved in relief with hearts and mermaids. The hinges original. The interior painted red, and with a candle box with original, working lock. The front with fifteen, panels reinforced with strap work and bolts retaining the original stylized vignettes of birds and tulips. Twin hasp fittings. The false escutcheon centered on the front. The sides with nine, panels reinforced with strap work and bolts and original carrying handles. Retaining original, fine, naïve stylized vignettes of flowers and birds on a green ground. Probably German, 1st quarter of the 17th century.

The naïve painting on this piece has survived in excellent condition, and is full of charm and character. Documents and private papers are recorded as being kept in strong boxes, which were also used to safeguard other items of personal value.

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This post was written by joecollinson