Silversmith's Small Chest

for Sarah

Christmas 2003

A small wooden chest, for a silversmith to carry their wares around re-enactor fayres.

Chest, finished

Chest, finished

The chest is a vague reproduction of work from around the Baltic, as might have been used by a merchant of the Hanseatic League in the 13th-14th century. For weatherproofing, it's covered in traditional oilcloth.

Chest, front view with padlock

Chest, front view with padlock

Overall size is about 16" x 10"

Chest, rear view of hinges

Chest, rear view of hinges

Construction

Chest, bare timber

Bare timber chest

Construction is of parana pine, as this was the closest timber in appearance to old-growth Baltic pines of the period. The ironwork is hand-forged steel

Chest, close-up of corner joinery

Chest, close-up of corner joinery

Corner joinery is simple open-tenons, typical of early Norse work.

Parana pine has an attractive colour variation. Although this isn't visible on the outside of the finished chest, I've kept the insides as untouched as possible to show it.

Black

Underneath the oilcloth is a coat of bitumen primer. This is out-of-period; hot tar would have been authentic, only more troublesome to apply.

Chest in black primer

Chest in black primer


Chest - padlock and hasp

Chest - padlock and hasp

The padlock is modern, but "aged" as much as possible (within limits!)

Oilcloth

The oilcloth covering for the chest (not yet applied) was made by traditional means, using linseed oil boiled with a lead drier. The process is described on my oilcloth page.