A wrought iron and brass chest lock. The mechanism, covered by a brass plate, is fixed to the case, engraved with acanthus scrolls. The mechanism consists of two latch bolts, each driven by a different key. A pull knob is attached to the housing.
On the brass plate are the following date and name list:
“ANNO 1708 / HANS GEORG KREBS / DANIEL MEYER IÜNGER / BEŸDE OBERMEISTER / HANS GEORG BRUNN / DANIEL MEŸEL ÄLDER / HANS HEINRICH LERSE / DANIEL PFEFFINGER / SAMSON WEBER / FRIDERIG BRION / IOHAN IOSEPH MEŸER / ISAC KLITZ / IOHAN MELCHIOR MEŸER / DAVID LERSE / ANDREAS UNSELT / HANS IACOB REINTALER / FRIDERIG SCHMUTZ / GOTTFRID ROSCH/LAUB
The lock is accompanied by a small key with a shaft and a star-shaped open window.
Two inherent elements reveal the history of this lock. Firstly, its mechanism is linked to a corporative origin. Two keys, one long and one short, are needed to open the mechanism. By inserting the first long key, the upper bolt opens and is then automatically blocked. The key is then removed to insert the second, smaller key which drives the last bolt and finally opens the lock. This two-key system is attested to by corporate regulations to ensure the safe’s inviolability. Dated 1718, a guild safe of the coopers of Dambach-la-Ville shows a similar system.
In addition, the list of names indicates that this group lived in Strasbourg and belonged to the “Säckler” or “sachetier-boursiers” trade group, which was affiliated to the stove (Zunft) of the Mirror.
It is noticeable that the plaque with the list of names is riveted to another. On the latter, an engraving with the words “[Hans Georg] / Krebs / Johann Daniel / Meyer / Beide obermeister” above an ornamental motif can be seen on the reverse. The first version of the darkening only mentioned the two obermeisters, whereas the repentance records each member.
This list, infinitely precious, gives us the keys to reading this object, which is a witness to Strasbourg’s history at the beginning of the 18th century.
Height : 22,6 cm
Width : 9,7 cm
Depth : 4 cm
Condition : good