Sea Chest with Hidden Compartment - Makers?

Anyone read the Hornblower short story "Hornblower's Temptation" where Hornblower is junior lieutenant in the ship of the line, HMS Renown under Captain Sawyer. The ship has just captured a French vessel; one of the prisoners is recognised as Irish revolutionary Barry McCool. Hornblower is given the distasteful task of arranging McCool's execution for desertion from the Royal Navy by Admiral William Cornwallis.

In exchange for a promise by McCool to make no attempt to incite mutiny by a final speech, Hornblower agrees to send McCool's only possession, a carved sea chest, to his widow, along with a covering letter. He is prevented from doing so when Renown has to hastily put to sea.

While at sea, Hornblower discerns a hidden message in McCool's letter, which allows him to discover a secret compartment in the chest, stuffed with currency notes and secret correspondence to other Irish rebels.

Does anyone know of a Company who are able to make such an ingenius thing as a Sea Chest or some kind of similar box with hidden compartments using some kind of catch mechanism as described in the book?
Gundulph said:
Anyone read the Hornblower short story "Hornblower's Temptation" where Hornblower is
Yes, complete bolleaux IMHO and a low-water mark in the Hornblower series.

I think there were chests, desks, etc made with secret compartments. An alleged treasure island map was found only a decade or so back in Captain Kidd's chest. I know of Japanese boxes with latches hidden in the veneer pattern, but I don't think anyone is, or was, capable of making the ludicrously intricate mechanism described ("the bee turns, press 'em down, etc, " if memory serves). Utter nonsense.

What is most implausible is that Hornblower, an impoverished junior officer, having discovered the hidden cache of currency and documents, without anyone else knowing, drags the whole chest, money and all, on deck and drops it in the briney. How implausible is that?

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