CANVASES, CARATS AND CURIOSITIES

Italian Baroque Iron Strong Box

1 minute read

 

Renaissance Wrought-Iron Italian Strong Box

  • This 16th-century iron-clad strong box would have been the most secure place for valuables
  • The unique locking mechanism would have made it virtually impregnable
  • The oak interior contains storage shelves to secure one's most prized possessions
  • Strong boxes were often used by merchants in lieu of banks to secure their money

This incredible and rare Italian Renaissance wrought-iron safe or strong box was perhaps the most secure means to store valuables with its three-key locking mechanism. Weighing hundreds of pounds, this intriguing safe is enveloped with thick iron plates, iron strappings and rivets around a fitted oak interior. Each of the three original iron keys are different, and the safe was made so all three partners would have to be present to open it. The fact that all three locks still work perfectly is a testament to the amazing quality of the piece. Made about the time of Christopher Columbus, these safes were not only exceptionally rare then, but much more today as only a handful have survived. The oak on the inside is all original and it is both striking inside and out. On the front of the safe is a separate iron strap that could be locked in place and was used to cover the keyholes to make it even more difficult to break into. With a scant number of these "Old World" relics known, this safe is a remarkable find of historical importance.

Northern Italy, circa 1500

 

 

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