Recently when showing some friends how I make six-board chests, I made one up for myself. It's a bit shoddy, I was paying more attention to my students projects than my own. As I didn't want to put expensive hinges on it, I thought this would be a good time to try staple hinges.
Staple hinges are basically two pins of metal wire that are hooked around each other, one side being driven into the lid, the other the body of the box. They are made long, so they can be driven clear through and turned into the wood.
To make them precise would require a great deal of fidgeting. The exact shape of the loop, the distance between the legs of the pin, and lining up the pilot holes to accommodate the offset are all things to watch out for. The hole in the lid do not line up with the holes in the body. I'd expect that leaving more play it it would make it less fussy, I'll have to do a few more as practice in order to get it right. I have no idea how old this type of hinge is, but it is quite primitive.
It is also difficult to hammer over the back side without partially driving the staple back out. All in all I made quite a mess of it, but it was quite a good learning experience.