Robb Design Portfolio: Sharp Shooter

  • Photo by John Lawton
    Photo by John Lawton
  • Photo by John Lawton
    Photo by John Lawton
  • Photo by John Lawton
  • Photo by John Lawton
  • Andrew Myers

Had James Bond been vanquishing villains in the 19th century, surely he would have found a use for this Russian strongbox. The circa-1815 safe, which is on offer for $815,000 from New York City antiques dealer Carlton Hobbs (www.carltonhobbs.com), conceals within its neoclassical exterior a complex series of mechanisms that trigger a hidden pair of pistols if someone attempts to open the box incorrectly. Hobbs says that the steel construction and superlative craftsmanship of the strongbox (21.75 x 28 x 15 inches) are characteristic of the metalwork once produced in Tula, a town south of Moscow that from 1712 to 1917 was home to the Imperial Armory. "In our 35 years of dealing," he notes, "I can say without a doubt that the casket is one of the most extraordinary pieces we have owned." Should the piece change hands, the new owner will want to ask Hobbs about two parts, masked by removable knobs on the box’s sides, that must be turned to deactivate the firing mechanism.

From Around the Web...
From a hunting knife to a copy of the Constitution, these items have become iconic of their owner…
Photo by Moscow The Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts
Sergei Shchukin’s beloved art collection has not been assembled at a single site since the 1940s…
The painting depicts the martyrdom of Saint Sebastian…
MB&F and Caran d’Ache join forces to make a writing instrument that launches imagination into...
The artist’s limited-edition bicycles represent the human need for freedom and expression…
Hear Why Barbara Guggenheim taps Jean-Michel Basquiat as one to buy…
This pen is the perfect gift for the music lover in your life…
Photo by Jorge Monedero
Linley, who grew up a royal, talks about heritage, craft, and collectability…
The Profiles in History sale will also offer animation cells and props from Disney’s greatest hits…
Photo by Ben A. Pruchnie
Harry Potter fans, get ready to bid on a rare, bejeweled copy of The Tales of Beedle the Bard