Robb Design Portfolio: The Secret Is Safe

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." rel="nofollow" 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.

Holly Hunt and her namesake brand need no introduction. But she has plenty of news to share...
Photo by Tony Soluri
Project Interiors infuses a classic home outside Chicago with contemporary verve...
Tory Burch and Dodie Thayer Lettuce Ware...
A husband-and-wife design team marries the best of both worlds...
Photo by Marco Ricca
High above Manhattan,this Jamie Drake–designed penthouse is anything but a shrinking violet...
For many, to make a trip to the French countryside is to fall in love and fall hard—especially...
Skip the club: The best gym is at home, with sleek, cut equipment that quickens the pulse...
Photo by Trent Bell Photography
Tom Moser’s distinctive craftsmanship only gets better with age...
The Italian brand Arper has reintroduced the famous Bowl chair to the United States...
Kartell and Emilio Pucci give the Madame chair a graphic advantage...