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‘Nuremberg’ safe

LS 2005.13.1

Date : XVIIth century | Medium : wrought iron, cut, chisel-finished, assembled with rivets and screws and painted

Germany or France


Don Jacques Polain, Brussels,

The trunk was the must-have furniture item during the Middle Ages and was used to store all kinds of objects: chests for storing valuables were made of iron, as in this example. It may have be used to transport the wages of soldiers in the field. It is reinforced with hinges and corner units and features a false keyhole on the front. The mechanism attached to the underside of the lid covers the entire surface, using a meticulous system of gears that activate several bolts with a single turn of the key. The parts of the mechanism are as elegant as they are painstakingly crafted. Inside the chest, a small box itself serves to lock away the most secret property. Strong side handles make transportation possible. Finally, the inside and façade of the chest are fully painted, which served not only as decoration but also to conserve the iron.