Robb Design Portfolio: The Secret Is Safe

  • Sheila Gibson Stoodley

Döttling’s Buonaparte contains hidden assets.

While restoring an 18th-century Italian safe, craftsmen at  the Döttling safe company (www.doettling.com) in Maichingen, Germany, intended to fit it with a secret compartment. Toward the end of the project, however, they discovered that someone had beaten them to it long ago. "It is unique to this safe," says Döttling managing partner Markus Doettling. "I’ve never seen something like it before, and I didn’t expect to see it in this safe." The compartment, which is hidden beneath the main doors of the 1,100-pound, nearly 6-foot-tall steel-plated antique, is opened by simultaneously pushing two nailheads located near the bottom of the safe. Doettling believes the compartment served as a hiding spot for the keys to the Buonaparte, as the safe is called.

 

Now fully restored and retrofitted to accommodate a watch collection, the safe—which is said to have once belonged to Pope Pius VII and later to its namesake, Napoléon Bonaparte—is priced at 300,000 euros (about $395,000). Döttling did add a second compartment, but for the sake of the next owner, it is perhaps best that the location and means of opening it remain secret.

From Around the Web...
Project Farmhouse
A Boffi-outfitted teaching kitchen at the new Project Farmhouse is serving up stylish...
The Armani/Casa store in Milan, Italy
The largest of the Armani/Casa stores showcases furniture, textiles, and home decor from its rich...
Custom designs abound high above Hyde Park…
From golden Champagne goblets to a copper palm-frond bowl, these pieces shine bright…
Ralph Pucci is known for his luxurious furnishings that celebrate quality in material and design
The furniture designer opens a new studio in Los Angeles…
Set on 300 acres above the Gallatin River in Montana, this home has sweeping views of the surrounding valley
A modern hunting and fishing retreat makes the most of Big Sky country…
Laufen opens a gorgeous new space that will inspire your dream oasis at home…
Robb Report tests the world’s most innovative new cookware…
The engineer converses about the risk, reward, and potential reality of moving at Mach 24…
Forget the endless amounts of work, it’s the design of the building that is really doing you in…