In 1621, the humanist Hugo Grotius performed a masterly escape from life imprisonment at Loevestein Castle in the Netherlands by hiding in a bookchest. Currently, three museums in the Netherlands (Loevestein Castle, Rijksmuseum and Museum Prinsenhof) possess chests related to Grotius’ story. This study presents research carried out to decipher whether any of them couldactually claim to have been the one used for the escape. Inspection of the materials and structure of the chests allowed us to discard the one in Loevestein Castle from the outset, as it is unlikely to have been a bookchest. However, the other two most likely were, and dendrochronological research through digital photographs provided date.

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Preprints 20th Triennial Conference of ICOM-CC
20th Triennial Conference of ICOM-CC
Computational Imaging

Domínguez-Delmás, M., van Duin, P., Dorscheid, J., Bossema, F., Batenburg, J., & van Langh, R. (2023). Unravelling a 17th-century prison escape: The quest to identify the original Hugo Grotius bookchest. Preprints 20th Triennial Conference of ICOM-CC.