Strong Box, Dutch, c. 1650
Made in 1/12th scale by Wm. R. Robertson & Lloyd McCaffery (base), 2016
These Strong Boxes were made for storing valuables when at home or traveling. The box was made of heavy solid timber and wrapped in ornate thick brass trim attached with bolts and nails. The top opens and the front folds down to expose drawers. Inside is a crank handle that operates 2 square headed screws attaching the box to the base. When traveling the base would be left behind and the box just screwed into the floor of the Inn or coach.
The box is made of Bolivian rosewood and covered with burl veneer matched in a way to accentuate the grain. There are over a 100 pieces covering the box.
The veneered edges are banded with the wood grain at 90 degrees to the edges.
A banded circle in the center of the drop front has grain radiating from the center. Nearly 80% of this marquetry is covered by the brasses.
The hinge patterns are first engraved on the brass with a Deckel pantograph and then cut out with a jewelers saw.
The brass is then rolled to form the barrels of the hinges.
The curvy edges of all the brasses are filed and engraved with a slightly rounded bevel and polished.
The square headed screws fit into the brass crank that is fitted with a rotating Blackwood handle.
The screws fit into long holes on each side with the heads recessed so the lid will close when not fastened to a base or floor.
The ornate edge pieces and corners are soldered together with gold solder so the seams do not show.
Brass handles are turned, bent and mounted to each side.
The bolt heads have 12 lobes milled into each one.
These are all the parts ready for finishing and final assembly.
The lock works and lock both the top and drop front separately.
After the wood is stained and French polished the lock is screwed in place.
There are hinged panels to hide papers with tiny sliding latches.
Each piece of brass is clamped in place while holes are drilled to attach it with bolts or nails.
Hundreds of .012" brass nails hold the brasses in place, each one has its head rounded and polished.
The hinged top ready for mounting. The hinged front latch covers the key hole when closed as yet another form of security.
The finished strong box ready for mounting to the stand.
Lloyd McCaffery carved the Baroque stand from boxwood, it has dozens of applied fliers and details.
Lloyd McCaffery gilded the base in 24K gold leaf.
The finish boxed meets the finished base. There are 2 pull out supports just under the hinges to support the drop front.
The Strong box open, the crank, pull out supports and drawers are visible. Bonni Backe made the hassle on the key.
Even the back side is decorated to be seen when traveling, since the base would be left at home it could be left plain.
Cased in ultra suede and ready for the new owner. The lidded compartment holds the key.