Ancient Keys

One-hundred-year-old houses and antique furniture such as China hutches and rolltop desks often had locks that would only function by using a skeleton key. If you’re looking to buy or sell items with skeleton key locks, it is good to know how old they are so you can match the correct key to the locks. A bit of research will reveal the age of the keys, and you’ll be able to relay this information to whomever asks. Determine the age of the house whose locks you are curious about. Ask the real estate agent who last sold the house, or find information from the county clerk about when the house was built to get an idea about when the locks were put in. Real estate agents may have more up-to-date information, such as if the locks or doors were replaced over the years. If you find out the year the doors and their hardware were installed, you’ll find out the age of the skeleton keys that match them. Find the date of the furniture in question. If you’re trying to find out the age of a skeleton key that matches your great-grandmother’s china hutch, or the rolltop desk your grandfather gave you, ask your relatives if they know when the pieces were purchased. If the furniture was purchased new by your family members, someone might remember when and where, and you’ll be able to deduce the date of the skeleton key from that information.

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Suzanne Martinez is co-owner of Lang Antiques. She is an accredited senior gemologist, a jewelry appraiser and jewelry historian, as well as the founder of the Antique Jewelry University website. This article was first published in the November issue of Rapaport Magazine.

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Buy Iron/Cast iron Antique Locks & Keys and get the best deals at the BOX/​SAFE/CHEST HEAVY CAST IRON WITH KEY DATED

A skeleton key is a key on which the inside bit has been hollowed so that the key can open many different locks. On a skeleton key, the serrated edge has been removed to allow the key to serve as a master key to open many different warded locks within a specific system. But how do these old things work and what do they symbolize? Read on to unlock everything you ever wanted to know about these interesting keys.

Learn About Lock Art. However, the name often refers to any antique key, no matter how ornate. As long as there is a bow, a narrow shank or shaft, and a flat extension on one side near the bottom of the shaft, a key is often considered a skeleton key. With a warded lock , a skeleton key lacks interior notches to interfere with or correspond with the wards, or obstructions, thereby allowing it to open the lock.

In a lever lock —that is, a lock with a set of levers and wards—the skeleton key can push the levers to the correct height while bypassing the wards.

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Log in or Sign up. Antiques Board. I acquired these keys at estate sale and would like any information anyone might know about any one key pictured.

View this item and discover similar for sale at 1stDibs – An unusual and exquisitely etched key and lock, in fine working condition, dating from the late 16th.

Collecting skeleton keys is becoming more popular, which is having a twofold affect: more people are aware of this antique collecting niche, and prices are going up as interests in these vintage keys also increases. As with anything antique, the value of a skeleton key is determined by collector interest, rarity, age and beauty. Skeleton key values, while on the rise, are still low enough to allow even a casual collector into the game.

Taylor Antique Keys. But as interest in keys increases, fewer will be on the market, and prices are expected to rise. Prices for most keys are kept down because there are so many of these keys around. Most houses built before the s used skeleton keys for nearly every door. Typically, the more ornate or old a skeleton key is, the more rare, and thus, the more value it will have. Some keys dating back to the s or earlier will have more value.

One problem in determining value and rarity is that so little is known about this collectible.

Antique keys

Once airy and party craft making. Find the s or, and antique furniture. Daily news, and collected by f.

i can use help identifying this keys date of manufacture and what type replacement locks and keys to some of these old locks on old homes.

This section of the Historical Locks website covers over industry and vernacular terms and definitions in the narrow field of locks and keys. Locking mechanisms often involve complex technology that we rarely consider in everyday life. But suppose you want to talk about the details of a lock? What are all these locks and their parts called? Sometimes you have to choose from several designations — which one is right, what does the word mean and where does it come from?

There are so many words and expressions related to locks and their parts that I must occasionally use images to distinguish between terms.

Lock and key

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interior french doors. Pijpsleutel France Dating c. – c. iron Measurements l cm × w cm. Antique KeysVintage KeysMedieval FurnitureKey TattoosGlass.

It is generally agreed that the key and lock were invented in ancient Egypt and China simultaneously, in around BC. These ancient keys and locks were usually made from either wood or iron. Keys and locks really took hold during the Roman Empire, however, as geographical conquest brought great riches, which then needed to be protected against theft. Compared to other collectibles, antique keys are fairly easy to get hold of and can often be found in charity and thrift stores, and at car-boot and garage sales, as well as in antique shops, auctions, and on-line.

Antique keys are easily identifiable with reference to shape, colour, evidence of tarnishing, and weight. They may be unmarked, or have unique markings not seen today, such as symbols and hallmarks. Typically, the older and more finely embellished a key is, the rarer it will be, and therefore the more valuable. Keys dating back to pre, for example, are a lot more in demand than keys dating back to the early twentieth century – and there are far fewer of them. Replica antique keys will very rarely feel as heavy as genuine antique keys as they are usually made of aluminium.

The aged patina on the surface of the key may also appear too even in colour and tone. Age, condition, detailing, rarity, weight, shape and size are all key considerations. Sign up for all the latest collecting news, expert blogs and auction lots from around the world. All activity on JustCollecting is rewarded with exclusive points which can be used to spend on amazing products, special discounts and entry into monthly competitions.

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Some call it the sphinx but we learned the original name is Heruemahket. One majestic, magnificent piece of art just like our love, my love! This LOVE!!! So amazing!!

Shop for-and learn about-Antique and Vintage Keys. The word “key,” which comes from the Old English word meaning “serving to open or explain,” has always.

A lock is a mechanical or electronic fastening device that is released by a physical object such as a key, keycard , fingerprint , RFID card, security token , coin, etc. A key is a device that is used to operate a lock such as to lock or unlock it. A typical key is a small piece of metal consisting of two parts: the bit or blade , which slides into the keyway of the lock and distinguishes between different keys, and the bow , which is left protruding so that torque can be applied by the user.

The key serves as a security token for access to the locked area; only persons having the correct key can open the lock and gain access. Common metals include brass , plated brass, nickel silver , and steel. The earliest known lock and key device was discovered in the ruins of Nineveh, the capital of ancient Assyria. When the key was inserted, pins within the fixture were lifted out of drilled holes within the bolt, allowing it to move.

When the key was removed, the pins fell part-way into the bolt, preventing movement. The warded lock was also present from antiquity and remains the most recognizable lock and key design in the Western world. The first all-metal locks appeared between the years and , and are attributed to the English craftsmen.

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Century iron key, France Plus Under Lock And Key, Key Lock, Antique Keys This is a rare ancient Roman silver finger ring shaped as a key, dating to.

History of locks and keys goes back for several thousand years, reaching the very first moments when modern human civilization established their reign and started developing sciences and technologies that enable birth and growth of our modern way of life. Even in those ancient times some years ago, people wanted the ability to safeguard their possessions and store them in places where nobody else can get access to them. For that purpose, engineers, designers and scientist created first examples of locks and keys.

Originally created using wood and other easily accessible natural materials, locks and keys offered small manner of protection against theft or intrusion, but they as well as complicated rope knots at least provided clear indicator if someone tampered with the lock. First models of wooden keys and locks originate from Ancient Egypt, where they first managed to take advantage from the technique of falling pins to control the movement of the security bolt.

The bolt could be freed from locked position by inserting large and cumbersome wooden key into the lock, and manually lifting it upwards, displacing the pins that were held down by gravity. Roman age introduced brought many improvements upon original Egyptian designs, but the expensive nature of the locks, their inability to sustain large external forces and easy picking made them to be a symbol of wealth, influence and nobility.

Small keys made from metals iron, bronze, silver, gold were often viewed as one of the most effective ways of publicly showing your wealth only very rich people could afford to have personal safes or doors with locking mechanisms. Locks and keys have managed to infuse themselves into every aspect of our lives.

Antique Desk Locks & Keys ~ Discussing the different types, key making & lock repairing


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