Non-destructive lock-picking of a historical treasure chest by means of X-ray computed tomography
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An innovative approach to a non-destructive lock mechanism examination by means of X-ray computed tomography (CT) was involved in a careful opening of a locked 19(th)century chest missing the key, as an interdisciplinary cooperation with the restorers. In regard of the exploration and conservation of such locked objects, their opening is important to the restorers. However, the opening may be complicated, if not impossible, without damaging the object when the key is missing. Moreover, the historical locks might be equipped with protective mechanisms. Despite the exceeding dimensions and the weight of the steel chest, a CT analysis was performed, which enabled a detailed exploration of the lock based on a system of levers and bolts handled by a single key, located in a case on the inside of the chest lid, including the dimensions essential for manufacturing of a new key copy. Moreover, two secret protective mechanisms were revealed, as well as all the damages of the object.
Document typePeer reviewed
Document versionFinal PDF
SourcePLOS ONE. 2020, vol. 15, issue 7, p. 1-12.