An oak travelling chest veneered with olive-wood and rosewood. The case is ornamented with brass fittings shaped in leaf motifs. The fittings prevented the case from being damaged during travel. The handlebars on the sides facilitate transportation. The central escutcheon has a concealed latch that needs to be unbolted before the actual keyhole is revealed. When the lid is opened, it gives access to the largest storage compartment. In the lid there is a cover to store letters or documents. In the compartment there are to concealed hiding places.
With a latch the front cover can be opened. This gives access to two drawers. When the drawers are removed, two further secret compartments can be reached. The entire interior is made out of rosewood and rosewood veneer.
Commonly this type of traveling chest, or strongbox, is presumed to be French or Flemish. Nevertheless, they are much more common in England than anywhere else. Recent research presumes that the bulk of these trunks is made in London between approximately 1660 and 1720.
The earliest proof of the manufacturing of this type of chest is found in inventory listings from the legacy of Edward Traherne, a renowned joiner and cabinet-maker, who died in London in 1675. Traherne’s trading stock contained a number of strongboxes and travelling chests with diverse specifications. Remarkably, some of these objects had not yet been completed.
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