This beautiful hand made iron chest was made in Nuremburg or Ausberg in the 1600s. They were made to hold valuables such as gold coins, jewels, or maps. This was the precursor to the modern day safe, and examples such as this one would have been bolted down to the deck of the officers cabin (two bolt holes visible in bottom of box). There is an extremely elaborate and decorative locking mechanism under the top of the trunk and false key hole on the front. There are also loops along the front that would have held padlocks (orginal key included). Starting in the 1800s, people started to refer to these as “Armada Chests” because they were found on old shipwreck sites and it was assumed that they belonged to the Spanish Armada (late 1500s). However, it was later determined that the boxes were of German craftmanship starting only in the 1600s.
CONDITION: Very good condition with some old restoration to locking mechanism. System does work and locks well, but not all bolts are activated. Original key.