Belgian Iron Safe

  • This early Belgian safe represents an important precursor to the modern combination lock
  • It features a hidden lock mechanism that is secured by a four-letter code
  • It is exceptional with regard to both artistic design and craftsmanship
  • Get complete item description here
Item No. 31-2986

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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.

Circa 1850

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" high

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Belgian Iron Safe
Period: 19th Century
Type: Safes/Strong Boxes
Depth: 22.5 Inches
Width: 31.5 Inches
Height: 44.38 Inches

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