Wrought iron strong box. Nuremberg or Augsburg. Late 16th century.
35 x 76 x 38 cm.
There is a very similar example to ours at the Museo de las Ferias in Valladolid, Spain, which was donated by the Simón Ruiz Foundation of Medina del Campo, and which belonged to Simón Ruiz Envito (Belorado, 1525 - Medina del Campo, 1597) one of the principal business men of the second half of the 16th century. It is catalogued as anonymous, German, and dated circa 1550 - 1570, and as Antonio Sánchez del Barrio indicates on the index card on the strong box: “The piece corresponds to a well-known typology for strong boxes originating in the south of Germany, with the cities of Nuremberg and Augsburg as the main centres of production – from where they were exported all over Europe between the 16th and 17th centuries.”
This strong box is made in the same way, with thick plates of wrought iron, reinforced with ridges and edging in strips of the same material. The interior of the lid has an elaborate locking system. Two large padlocks and their keys are preserved.
Bibliography: SÁNCHEZ DEL BARRIO, A., «Caja fuerte», en España y América. Un océano de negocios. Quinto centenario de la casa de la contratación (1503-2003), Sociedad Estatal de Conmemoraciones Culturales, 2003, pages. 320-321 (“Strong box”, in Spain and Latin America. An ocean of business. Fifth centenary of the House of Trade).