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Strong Box, Dutch, c. 1650

Made in 1/12th scale by Wm. R. Robertson & Lloyd McCaffery (base), 2016


As with many of the pieces I make, there are a lot of details and working parts. This 17th Century strong box looks very flashy but there is much more to it than first meets the eye. The box was built from the inside out. I made the inside out of book-matched Bolivian rosewood with dovetailed drawers and secret compartments. The outside of the box is covered with hundreds of pieces of burl marquetry, bordered with cross banding. Nearly 80% of this is covered with ornate brass, cut out and beveled entirely by hand. The edges are are also covered with brass. And all were installed with .012-inch brass nails or screws with 12 lobbed heads. The double action lock works on both the drop down front panel and the lift up top. There’s a crank inside that fits into long screws in each end of the box so it can be fastened to the base or the floor when traveling.


Lloyd McCaffery carved the Baroque base from boxwood and gilded it with 24K gold leaf. The late Bonni Backe made the tassel tied to the key.

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