This Belgian cast-iron safe represents an important precursor to the modern combination lock. The 19th-century safe features a state-of-the-art hidden lock mechanism that is additionally secured by a four-letter combination code. A hidden key opens the central door to reveal four letter dials. Only after entering the correct code can one then use the key to open the safe and access the important pieces held inside.
In addition to its mechanical complexity, the safe is also beautifully crafted. Prior to the 19th century, iron safes were designed to convey notions of strength and invulnerability. By the 1830s however, firms increasingly sought to distinguish their products through more artistic designs. Thanks to its elaborate metal ornamentation, this safe is exceptional in both artistry and craftsmanship.
At the time of this safe’s creation, France, Belgium and Portugal were considered leaders in the field of lock mechanics, combining new mechanisms with a letter code further securing the lock. This safe represents the safe-making legacy of Belgium, which brought together complex mechanisms, highly secure materials, remarkable artistry and ingenious design.
Plaque on the exterior reads "Mathyse Declerck Bruxelles / Bréveté" joined by the coat of arms of Belgium.
31 1/2" wide x 22 1/2" deep x 44 3/8" high
With base: 32“ wide x 23 1/2” deep x 58 6/8" highClick here to view a video of this item.