A reader asked about the “German chest” my heroine tackles in the course of the story.
The Victorians, who had a tendency to…um…make stuff up, called these devices Armada Chests, and claimed that they were “treasure chests” from the Spanish Armada. They weren't. They were not from the Tudor period, but later—17th-18th C, and were mostly German-made.
My explorations turned up lots of images of these chests, still called Armada chests, and most usually for sale by antique dealers.
Non-copyright illustrations are hard to find, but this Google search will show you many examples—along with some completely irrelevant pictures.
The Grove Encyclopedia of Materials and Techniques in Art describes chests and strongboxes “fashioned from iron. Outstanding examples include the Armada Chest made in Nuremberg in the 17th century…a form of early safe." You can read the full entry here.
I loved the complicated mechanism, the several keys, etc. Until this point, I’d no idea such things had existed. Those of you familiar with my characters will understand how perfect this was for my purposes.
The photograph above was taken at West Gate Towers and Museum, St Peter's Street, Canterbury, Kent by Linda Spashett (Storye book). Clicking on the link will bring you to its page on Wikimedia Commons, where you can enlarge the photo for a closer look.
There’s a big difference in how we use history. But we’re equally nuts about it. To us, the everyday details of life in the past are things to talk about, ponder, make fun of -- much in the way normal people talk about their favorite reality show.
We talk about who’s wearing what and who’s sleeping with whom. We try to sort out rumor or myth from fact. We thought there must be at least three other people out there who think history’s fascinating and fun, too. This blog is for them.