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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Posts
    16
    Country: Great Britain

    Default Royal key mystery

    Measuring some 4.5 inches long; made of steel and within the hoop a gilded brass tag bearing the initials GR (George Rex/George Reign)

    Engraved along the shank are the words Carrington Bowls Esqr. Some research has established that at the latter part of the C18th Carrington Bowles had a shop at St Paul's Churchyard where he sold both maps and prints.

    Close scrutiny of the pictures will show that one of the "R"'s I Carrington has been filed out, as if the engraver
    made a mistake??

    Neither the British Museum, the London Museum or the V and A have been able to cast light on it.

    I thought the name Bowles may have a connection to
    Prince Charlie's wife but apparently not....


    A local antiques auctioneer expressed great excitement but purely in monetary terms.

    Any clues amongst you key experts?
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Keys 008.JPG   Keys 016.JPG   Keys 001.JPG   Keys 004.JPG   Keys 007.JPG  


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Posts
    1,232
    Country: Wales

    Default

    Hello daveham, can you show the reverse side of the brass GR tag, also both top and bottom edges of it- the loop around the bow and the lower edge which swings above where the bow of the key joins the stem- thanks.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Posts
    16
    Country: Great Britain

    Default Royal Key



    Huw,

    Both sides of the gilded tag are identical. I don't quite understand what additional photos you are wanting. Please elaborate.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Posts
    1,232
    Country: Wales

    Default

    Sorry daveham it's difficult to explain easily, I was thinking of the top and bottom edges of the tag, an end view of the edges but it might be difficult to get clear photos close-up anyway.

    I was thinking it might give some clues as to any joint on the loop of the tag and might show whether the bottom edge of the casting has been filed or not- notice the bottom of the G and the R are extremely close to the edge.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Posts
    16
    Country: Great Britain

    Default Royal key

    Huw,

    Gotcha ! Will take a look this evening

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Posts
    16
    Country: Great Britain

    Default Royal Key



    Huw,

    If the key is held up in the air the gap around the tag is uniform. Looking at both top and bottom of the tag there is no evidence of clipping or filing. I am of the firm opinion that the tag has always belonged to the key and of course I am curious to know the significance of your question? Are you of the opinion that the tag may be a later addition to the key ?
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails key tag 002.JPG   key tag 001.JPG  

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Posts
    1,232
    Country: Wales

    Default

    Thanks daveham, so the mystery continues...
    Not sure what to make of it, but when it's not possible to examine something like this at length, up close in detail like you are able to, it's only by asking questions, exploring possibilities and looking at what might seem obscure details that we might establish anything further.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Posts
    16
    Country: Great Britain

    Default Royal key



    Huw,

    I believe that there is a direct connection between Carrington Bowles and one of the reigning monarchs. However Huw, what the connection is remains a mystery?

    Correct me if I'm wrong Huw, but as a newcomer to this website I am of the opinion that the majority of members are mainly interested in C19th to C20th keys and locks?

  9. #9

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by daveham View Post


    Correct me if I'm wrong Huw, but as a newcomer to this website I am of the opinion that the majority of members are mainly interested in C19th to C20th keys and locks?
    I'm not Huw, but I think you are mistaken. I think the reason you don't see as much discussion of older keys here is that there just aren't as many of them. The brass drives toward the end of WWII is one reason. 30 years ago there was a place in Seattle, WA, USA that purchased around 30 tons of keys left over from a drive in England. I can only imagine how many were melted down and turned into bullet casings from earlier drives.
    BBE.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Posts
    1,232
    Country: Wales

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by daveham View Post

    Correct me if I'm wrong Huw, but as a newcomer to this website I am of the opinion that the majority of members are mainly interested in C19th to C20th keys and locks?
    There are some members who collect specific types including very early examples, but like BBE says there just aren't as many of them around. Earlier examples are progressively rarer the further you go back, so it does seem logical that more common ones from the 1800s and 1900s see more discussion than others. Plus of course the booms in ideas, technology and patents from that period which gives immense technical interest and variation from which to choose.

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