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Coffer and key

Coffer and key

  • Place of origin:

    Germany (made)

  • Date:

    1597 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Wrought iron

  • Credit Line:

    Bequeathed by Miss E. F. J. Mackworth Dolben

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Ironwork, Room 114c, case 114 EXP []

Physical description

Coffer made of wrought iron, the hasps are pierced with the date 1597. The coffer is painted with figures and shields of arms.

Place of Origin

Germany (made)


1597 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Wrought iron

Marks and inscriptions



Height: 83.19 cm converted from inches, Length: 136.53 cm converted from inches, : 63.5 cm converted from inches

Descriptive line

Coffer and key, pierced wrought iron with painted figures and shields of arms, Germany, 1597

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Jenning, C. Early Chests in Wood and Iron. London : Public Record Office, 1974.

Labels and date

Wrought iron
Germany; 1597

The hasps are pierced with the date 1597. The coffer is painted with figures and shields of arms, which was probably renewed when it changed hands at some later date. Painted iron chests were popular in Germany, although they are usually of the rectangular 'Armada chest' type. Wheeled chests with curved lids seem to have been relatively common from the 15th century. With their iron cladding, they were an effective string box.

Bequest of Miss E.F.J. Mackworth Dolben
Museum No. M.244-1912



Wrought iron


Forging (metal forming); Painting; Piercing


Metalwork; Ironwork


Metalwork Collection

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