If the key to something you do not use every day is lost, it can take a little while before a locksmith is called. In this case it took them a couple of hundred years to find us!
When we arrived we inspected the boxes and padlocks with endocsopes and decided they could probably be picked with simple steel wire bent in an L shape. Click on the image below to see how a similar mechanism is opened using two hooks. One hook lifts the hammer while the other moves the bolt.
In a little while we did mange to open a number of padlocks and one of the boxes.
Currently three 17th century treasure boxes are waiting to be opened and at least one of them contains a number of ‘heavy objects’. This is interesting, especially if you consider the boxes were used to transport valuables in ships.
Jord was asked to make a key for the lock(s) and that is quite a task with the special warding. Hopefully I can make a blackbag posting out of that too as it is an interesting process to create such a key. (more nice keys on http://www.duke.edu/web/isis/gessler/collections/locks-keys.htm)
The exact location of the remaining boxes has to be kept secret for now not to give anyone any ideas. There will be a follow up soon (after LockCon.US) and hopefully we can solve some more mysteries then.
Tags: 17e eeuw, 17th century, antique lock, antique locks, Barry Wels, intact-noodopening.nl, jord knaap, lockpicking, Paul Crouwel, safe opening, schadevrij, schatkist, toool, treasure box, zilvervloot