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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    25
    Country: United States

    Default Another early key to look at

    Here is a key I purchased at the Lancaster show last year, 2011. It is the oldest key in my collection, from the 1500's. I got it from someone who bought it in Parma, Italy. A real gem.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails KW1501a.jpg   KW1501b.jpg  

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    73
    Country: UK

    Default Help required in identifying old key

    Hi.
    Calling all key experts! Please help me to identify and date this old key.
    Thanks in advance.
    Patent.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Key 1.jpg   Key 2.jpg  

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Toronto
    Posts
    188
    Country: Canada

    Default

    This is a beautiful key and made by a skilled Locksmith.
    The keyway is a Trefoil type of design.
    Warding is based on the Bridge Ward principle. Which means
    the warding plate has the wards on both sides of the bridge.
    Dating is some what problematic. The style and skill indicate
    manufacture from about 14th century to the 16th century.

    Not sure if it was a lost wax casting or else a brazed assembly?

    I have seen both types of manufacture pre-dating your key
    and also post-dating it.

    The warding also has comb wards for added security.

    Nice hand made keyhead design.

    Overall this is a custom designed key for a very important use.
    Back then a key was additionaly displayed as a sign of nobility
    a social rank. Keys were worn externaly as a badge of Office
    or Royal patronage. These are the possiblities but the exact
    history is a matter of speculation.


    Brian ................................................

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    73
    Country: UK

    Default

    Thanks,Brian for your comprehensive reply.
    I would never have thought that the key could be at least 400 years old.
    It has stood the test of time, has a wonderful patina,and is in remarkably good condition.
    I think that the Brazing technique has been employed in its construction,the key is 4 1/2 inches in length.
    The Trefoil stem still retains its form, the bit is also in good shape,possibly suggesting that it has had minimal usage.
    Any idea of it's origin?
    Thanks.
    Patent.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Toronto
    Posts
    188
    Country: Canada

    Default

    You are welcome Patent.
    Your fantastic key is a prize.
    It contains elements of French, German
    and British design. Perhaps a well connected
    Master Locksmith made this from his favorite
    parts of others designs?
    Back before the internet..yes many younger people
    have no idea of what hard book learning and be able
    to converse in person with a Master was like LOL
    Locksmiths had to learn from all possible sources.

    I have included some jpegs of a German key for the ribbon
    keyhead; a pre-revolution French Lost Wax key for the
    shaft, Trefoil keyway and Comb Wards;
    and a Tubular handcuff key for the keyhead, which was brazed.

    Brian................................
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Key medievil padlock 3.jpg   Key French arrow 09.jpg   Key 02.jpg  

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Cleveland, Ohio USA
    Posts
    1,202
    Country: United States

    Default

    Brian, you forgot Venetian. And zooming in on the bows of both keys, you can see they were brazed. Both are wonderful treasures. Thanks for posting them. Doug

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Toronto
    Posts
    188
    Country: Canada

    Default

    Doug...I stand corrected.
    I didn't hink about that possibility.
    Venetian is an area I will have to study
    to fill in some missing knowledge ;o)

    You are welcome.
    I use some of the antique keys as a basis for making
    drawings for silkscreen prints.

    So many graphic designers fail to use or realize that
    real antique keys have to be used for authenticy.

    Brian.....................

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    25
    Country: United States

    Default Help identifying an old key

    I can help you identifying your key. And I have research to back it up. Your key is Venitian from the late 1500's to early 1600's. Pictures of keys almost identical to yours appear in the French book of keys, "Des Clefs et des Hommes'. On page 82 there are three keys that I speak of. I have some wonderful books that are an outstanding source of reference material that I have aquired at lock shows. Let me know if you are interested and I'll put you in contact with the man I bought my books from.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Germany
    Posts
    128
    Country: Germany

    Default

    hello together,

    i read your posts about the keys and there is something wrong.

    brass for brazing is genereally used at first in 17th century.

    the first key (europelocks) is clearly younger, never 16th century.
    on the market there are a lot of keys like this, maybe 19th century
    or later, please see picture 11 and 22.

    original keys from this period looks different in handle and bit
    coming at first from italy, 33, 44

    patent: your key looks great - if it is brazed with copper. but there
    are no sign of a german key, bit and handle is italian, shank
    is also known in france. 66

    brian: first picture is asian/russian padlock key
    second picture french 18th 19th century
    third picture is not to identify, if orginal than french, if cast than fake

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Germany
    Posts
    128
    Country: Germany

    Default

    sorry, i forgot the pictures
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 11.jpg   22.jpg   33.jpg   44.jpg   66.jpg  


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