Interestingly, amongst the lot of art and isolated personal effects came a small wood and iron strongbox.
When I first saw it I had visions of the Pirates of Caribbean, Black Beard and Spanish gold taken at musket point. To further peak my curiosity the key was long gone. My father shared my interest in discovering its contents and actually had the box x-rayed.
After the x-ray he determined the box to be full of papers. OK, so it wasn't gold, but I was still very intrigued, weren't they missing the 1291 Swiss Federal Charter or something? My father found someone who specialized in old locks and had a key made. After many months of anticipation the wait was over, I would finally get to see what was inside the box.
Strongbox lock on the underside of the lid.
It turned out to be full of love letters and correspondence from the 1920s and 30s. Kind of a let down, but the way I figure it, there is a reason the letters are in that box. I think it is a deliberate act, not like misplacing them in the top drawer of a chippendale desk. One day I intend to transcribe their contents for the book I will write on my family.