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Armada Chest

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This item can be restored. Please see Armada Chest/Restoration

Many of these chests have been destroyed precisely because of the locking mechanism. If the contents were valuable enough, the chest would be smashed or pried apart. I love seeing ones that have survived the decades intact.



  • Fact 1: Armada chests incorporated false keyholes or locks on the front, used to misdirect thieves, while camouflaging the real keyhole elsewhere within the design of the chest.
  • Fact 2: The term "armada chest" was actually fabricated by European craftsmen, who imagined that chests like these were used by the Spanish armada.
  • Fact 3: Some armada chests had multiple hidden keyholes that operated multiple mechanisms required to open the lid, sometimes requiring two people.
  • Fact 4: Many armada chests were used aboard ships, where they were bolted to the deck of the ship inside the owner's cabin.
  • Fact 5: The decorative plate that incorporates the false keyhole on this type of chest is called an escutcheon.

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