A small, 17th century, iron strongbox retaining its original painted decoraction

September 18, 2019 2:00 pm Published by

The top with six, panels reinforced with strap work, and bolts. A plain lockplate revealing the central keyhole. The later key operating a mechanism on the interior of the lid throwing six bolts. Protected by an elaborate pierced and engraved inner cover decorated with angels, tulips and acanthus leaves with a brass boss in the centre. The hinges original. The interior painted red, and retaining the original lever supporting the lid. The front with six, panels reinforced with strap work and bolts. Twin hasp fittings. The false escutcheon headed by an elaborate foliate mask. The sides with six, panels reinforced with strap work and bolts and original carrying handles. Retaining original painted vignettes of landscape scenes and floral sprays on a green ground. Probably German, 1st quarter of the 17th century.

This strongbox is of, unusually, small size. The painting on this piece has survived in excellent condition, and retains its provincial 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. They are commonly used today as safes.

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This post was written by joecollinson