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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    UK
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    31
    Country: UK

    Default Help needed about French Trefoil/ Club shaped lock pin from Necessaire de Voyage.

    Hi there

    Does anyone have any information regarding the name/ style of this French trefoil/ club/ clover shaped lock pin from a Necessaire de Voyage. Surely there must be some symbolism by using a shape of this kind?

    I have seen this style of lock used on pieces dating from around 1800 to 1820.

    Many thanks to anyone that can help
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Screen-Shot-2017-02-22-at-21.34.06.jpg   Screen-Shot-2017-02-22-at-21.34.16.jpg   IMG_6819.jpg  

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Cleveland, Ohio USA
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    1,222
    Country: United States

    Default

    Much like the Fleur de Lis, the trefoil became a popular keyhole shape in France. It does appear to have a religious significance. There were several other shapes used as well, some purely geometric. The idea was to prevent easy key duplication and picking. Here is a lock with a very difficult design, also French and is representative of the cross of St. Esprit. Coincidentally I bought a small key lie yours recently, although not as fancy. Now I know what it was likely used for. Doug
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails IMG_20170223_082420.jpg  

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    UK
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    Country: UK

    Default

    Hi Doug

    Thank you so much for your very interesting reply. You mention religious significance, are you able to elaborate on this at all?
    The lock in your illustration is staggering! I have never seen anything remotely close to this sophistication.

    Whilst I used the term 'trefoil', is this the correct term? I have also heard it referred to as 'trèfle'.

    My thanks again

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Cleveland, Ohio USA
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    Country: United States

    Default

    Both terms can be used to describe the shape, but here in the U.S., 3 leaf clover would be the most widely understood. Trefle is definitely French and I think trefoil was from the Latin, according to my old dictionary. On the significance, it has something to do with the Christian Trinity. Google is my friend in these matters.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    UK
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    Country: UK

    Default

    Once again Doug, thank you so much and I will get researching right away.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Edinburgh
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    200
    Country: UK

    Default

    This shape is also used in the suits of the playing cards used in most of the english-speaking world, which have their origin in France. All four of these profiles are found in use for drill pins in French locks. Unlike a round section drill pin, a shaped pin must be able to revolve as the key revolves — an added complication for the maker but an additional ward for an intruder to overcome.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    31
    Country: UK

    Default

    Good evening, I had no idea that the French made drill pins in all of the shapes of playing cards. Does this then make the religious symbolism of the trefoil obsolete in terms of the French lock design?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Posts
    1,158
    Country: Wales

    Default

    Hello lorddlm2, yet another beauty- this ones even curved to match the radiused front- you've now got me wondering whether you ever get any mediocre 'average' examples like us lot have to settle for!

    I'm wondering if that's a repro key though, not that it would detract too much from it overall anyway..

    Reason I'm curious- instantly recognised the silvery/gold bands as the classic flashes of silver soldered joints- looks identical to the JM Easy-Flo that Ive been using for 30 odd years. There's one straight along the base of the bit where it joins the profiled stem, another at the first collar and another where the bow joins.

    Beautiful lock and key though, those profiled pipe keys are always impressive to see.

    BTW did you find out anymore on your solid gold Bramah?

    Doug- I clicked on that thumbnail pic thinking it was an actual lock- was that one actually made? It has an amazing profile to the drill-pin and pipe. Sorry...for 'pipe' you know to read 'barrel'

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    31
    Country: UK

    Default

    Hi Huw

    Just tried to send you a PM, but it says your mailbox is full


    Quote Originally Posted by Huw Eastwood View Post
    Hello lorddlm2, yet another beauty- this ones even curved to match the radiused front- you've now got me wondering whether you ever get any mediocre 'average' examples like us lot have to settle for!

    I'm wondering if that's a repro key though, not that it would detract too much from it overall anyway..

    Reason I'm curious- instantly recognised the silvery/gold bands as the classic flashes of silver soldered joints- looks identical to the JM Easy-Flo that Ive been using for 30 odd years. There's one straight along the base of the bit where it joins the profiled stem, another at the first collar and another where the bow joins.

    Beautiful lock and key though, those profiled pipe keys are always impressive to see.

    BTW did you find out anymore on your solid gold Bramah?

    Doug- I clicked on that thumbnail pic thinking it was an actual lock- was that one actually made? It has an amazing profile to the drill-pin and pipe. Sorry...for 'pipe' you know to read 'barrel'

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Posts
    1,158
    Country: Wales

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by lorddlm2 View Post
    Hi Huw

    Just tried to send you a PM, but it says your mailbox is full
    My mailbox was showing 90 messages stored out of an allowable 50...

    I think it must be the Tardis! All cleared out now ready

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