Not only does the 4ft 2in (1.26m) chest carry trademark Celtic knot motifs with gilt highlights to the facia, the top opens on axe-form hinges to reveal a similar design centred with the inscription A Knox 1903. The fall front lock bears the stamp SPB for Shapland and Petter.
This enigmatic object - sold without a provenance connecting it to Knox - was consigned for sale at Penrith Farmers' & Kidd's March 12 sale by a Keswick vendor in whose family it had been for many years. The Cumbrian auctioneers estimated it conservatively at £2000-3000 but in fact two commission bids saw the competition open at £12,000.
One of eight telephone bidders, a private buyer from south of England won it at £37,000 (plus 15 per cent buyer's premium).