Welcome to our world of Locks and Locksmiths (click logo or scroll down to view all):-
 www.Antique-Locks.com 
  
HoL
   COLTi
Or are you looking for modern, or recent past,
Keys, Locks or Safes.
keys, locks & safes
Industrial Archaeology of Locks HoL Museum
COLTi
  
Please support our forum sponsors where you can.
Researching locks from antiquity to the recent past.Maintaining a reference collection & archive.Today's scene and cutting edge developments.
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 14
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Port Angeles, Washington, USA
    Posts
    29
    Country: United States

    Default Very Large Brass Key: ID and Age, Please?

    What have I got here...and how old may it be? Does it have any special significance...or value?

    I picked it up at an antique cartridge show in Castle Rock, Washington this past Saturday. I couldn't pass it up. It was partially covered in a pale green varnish, mostly in all the slots and other configurations at the business end. An overnight soak in mild TSP took care of that stuff.

    Length is just over 6 inches; weight is ~3.3 ounces. More pics on demand, of course.

    Any and all comments & observations are sought, and will be acknowledged with gratitude!

    Thanks for looking. wlw
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails P1170161.jpg   P1170162.jpg   P1170163.jpg   P1170164.jpg   P1170165.jpg  

    P1170166.jpg  

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Posts
    1,156
    Country: Wales

    Default

    Have you tried unscrewing the sections of the shaft- there might be a corkscrew inside?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    423
    Country: United States

    Default Very Large Brass Key: ID and Age, Please?

    Look more like house key in the old day. Age could be anywhere 1800 to mid 1900....Timothy.....

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Port Angeles, Washington, USA
    Posts
    29
    Country: United States

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Huw Eastwood View Post
    Have you tried unscrewing the sections of the shaft- there might be a corkscrew inside?
    Hi, Huw...

    First: a strong magnet has no interest in any portion of the key. I seriously doubt the presence of a worm within. There is no indication of a joint anywhere along the length of the shaft...except as noted below.

    Second: there does appear to be a 'cap' at the business end of the key; but I have resisted attempting to remove it. I have wondered whether there was a purpose for that cap, and concluded only that it may be a tooling feature, to facilitate the cutting or attachment of the 'flag' (I don't know the correct terms for key anatomy...sorry).

    Please note the circumferential scoring and incidental wear on the shaft either side of, and immediately adjacent to, the flag.

    Thanks...wlw

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Port Angeles, Washington, USA
    Posts
    29
    Country: United States

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Timothy View Post
    Look more like house key in the old day. Age could be anywhere 1800 to mid 1900....Timothy.....
    Hi, Timothy...

    If a house key (I cannot argue against that), I would certainly like to have a look at the lock it opened. It must have been in an entry door to a home of significant wealth and substance.

    The shaft is slightly bent; it is also twisted by perhaps <5 degrees (the plane of the loop/handle vs the plane of the flag).

    After looking at it critically for two days, I now believe it is gold plated or washed; perhaps 85% of that remains.

    Thanks...wlw

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Port Angeles, Washington, USA
    Posts
    29
    Country: United States

    Default

    Well...there are many keys with holes in the end, to accept pins within the lock. You all will know what the nomenclature appropriate for such features are.

    So the key I have may have been available in a 'blank' configuration, with hole; the need for such a hole, if absent, would leave opportunity for plugging the hole. I'm guessing, obviously...

    Regarding Lock and Key Anatomy: is there a site (or a page in this forum) where such fundamental information can be found? It is somewhat embarrassing to stumble over descriptive specifics in near complete ignorance.

    wlw

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Posts
    1,156
    Country: Wales

    Default

    wlw, the configuration of your key is that of a warded rim key.
    If, it is a working/useable key, then it is clearly intended for double sided operation since it has the tell-tale symmetrically cut bit, and a collar to act as a stop.

    The keys you are referring to with a hole in the end are called pipe keys in the UK and barrel keys in the USA. They are only for single sided operation and do not need collars to act as stop.

    The length of your key suggests a rim key to fit a surface mounted lock but it could be for mortise operation as well. It has the characteristics of a warded rim key.

    You are barking up the wrong tree with your idea of the key being available in all configurations for all eventualities, with the hole provided up the end and being blanked off etc.
    Such keys are either of one type or the other, you dont get "male pin with collar combined female pipe/barrel for single-double sided operation etc all rolled into a single key.

  8. #8

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by wlwhittier View Post
    Well...there are many keys with holes in the end, to accept pins within the lock. You all will know what the nomenclature appropriate for such features are.

    So the key I have may have been available in a 'blank' configuration, with hole; the need for such a hole, if absent, would leave opportunity for plugging the hole. I'm guessing, obviously...

    Regarding Lock and Key Anatomy: is there a site (or a page in this forum) where such fundamental information can be found? It is somewhat embarrassing to stumble over descriptive specifics in near complete ignorance.

    wlw
    Your key may very well be a house key, large brass and bronze keys were very popular in the US from the early 1700's until the late 1800's and you can even get some new Baldwin hardware today that uses them. The cap you mention was sometimes used on barrel keys to keep dust out of the drilled end that went over the post(pin you called it) in a lock. The design of your key would be unusual for a barrel key but it is possible.

    Anatomy wise, the flag is sometimes called that but more often called a 'bit'. The handle is the 'bow'. The part the flag is attached to is also called the post, but of the key. There is a 'stop' on your key which prevents the key going too far into the lock and between it and the bow is the 'shank'. That is a somewhat truncated anatomy but should help you understand what we may be talking about.
    BBE.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Port Angeles, Washington, USA
    Posts
    29
    Country: United States

    Default

    huw:

    "...clearly intended for double sided operation..."

    I see that the bit is
    symmetrical, but only along the length of the post; one side of the bit is relieved nearest the post, and on both ends...but not on the other side. I'm confused (obviously) about what double sided operation means: is it that the key will function (open or close) the lock when turned either way?

    Then, as I easily accept your argument that the key was not a 'universal' blank, I have to ask what purpose the apparent capped barrel serves: why the tightly capped hole? The cap cannot be easily removed; I haven't tried very hard, but fingers won't do the trick. Needing some tool for cap removal when the key was to be inserted, not to mention the potential for loss of such a small item...seems a clumsy stretch, to me.

    Also, can you (or others) estimate a value for this key?

    Thank you for the anatomy lesson, and your continued interest! wlw

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Port Angeles, Washington, USA
    Posts
    29
    Country: United States

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BBE View Post
    Anatomy wise, the flag is sometimes called that but more often called a 'bit'. The handle is the 'bow'. The part the flag is attached to is also called the post, but of the key. There is a 'stop' on your key which prevents the key going too far into the lock and between it and the bow is the 'shank'. That is a somewhat truncated anatomy but should help you understand what we may be talking about.
    BBE.
    BBE...Thanks for your illuminating descriptions of the anatomy of keys. I'll try to become better informed.

    wlw

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •