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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Posts
    90
    Country: Germany

    Default Hobbs 4-lever lock

    I have got this Hobbs lock. Impressive bitting, but just 4 levers. The most impressive part of the bitting is located where the bolt is. Imprint on the key: HOBBS&Co. PATENTS LONDON 48810. On the lock is also 48810.

    I would appreciate any information regarding age and for what it was used.

    Thanks
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Hobbs_1.jpg   Hobbs_2.jpg   Hobbs_3.jpg  

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Aberdeenshire
    Posts
    358
    Country: Great Britain

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Cepasaccus View Post
    I have got this Hobbs lock. Impressive bitting, but just 4 levers. The most impressive part of the bitting is located where the bolt is. Imprint on the key: HOBBS&Co. PATENTS LONDON 48810. On the lock is also 48810.

    I would appreciate any information regarding age and for what it was used.

    Thanks
    Number relates to 1954. Appears from the number 2 stamped on the bit that it could have been the second lock of a dual locking system. The mystery is where are the other levers to suit a 9 lever key and the step to operate the talon of the bolt. Not a Protector high security lock despite the key. Perhaps for a grille gate.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Posts
    90
    Country: Germany

    Default

    Thanks. Grille gate of a vault or something like a private property?

    I assume that this is intended as a 4-lever lock deceiving the customer. The talon is the full width of the bolt and so it is the longest bit in the middle of the bolt which is actually throwing the bolt.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Devon UK
    Posts
    3,005
    Country: UK

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Cepasaccus View Post
    Thanks. Grille gate of a vault or something like a private property?

    I assume that this is intended as a 4-lever lock deceiving the customer. The talon is the full width of the bolt and so it is the longest bit in the middle of the bolt which is actually throwing the bolt.
    Maybe there was another lock which used all the bittings and another key without the extra bittings.
    one key would open both locks but one key would only open YOUR lock.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Edinburgh
    Posts
    214
    Country: UK

    Default

    I have a Hobbs double-sided grilegate custodial lock masterkeyed with compound levers. The belly has 2 different radii, each half the thickness of the lever, i.e. two different points on which the key step can bear. (Similar idea to masterkeyed wafers, but more difficult and expensive to make the levers, and cut the master and servant keys.) Sadly I only have one key for my lock, no way of knowing which it is.
    Mine probably dates from 1930's when the prison was built. The patent dates from 1922, according to UNION Encyc of locks.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Posts
    90
    Country: Germany

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Gordon View Post
    Maybe there was another lock which used all the bittings and another key without the extra bittings.
    one key would open both locks but one key would only open YOUR lock.
    That makes sense!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    leeds
    Posts
    286
    Country: Great Britain

    Default

    This will be the backpan lock of a safe or strongroom designed to open using one of the main safe or vault keys, quite common on hobbs stuff

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    leeds
    Posts
    286
    Country: Great Britain

    Default

    Always admired the thinking behind this, the backpan is secured against tampering but works on one of the main safe or vault keys, rather than have separate rarely used keys that get lost.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Posts
    90
    Country: Germany

    Default

    That is a backpan? Can't find it in the dictionary and the internet searches are not really helpful. If I had to make a wild guess, I would say it is the grating behind the main vault door.

    The length of the key makes really sense for this setup. The levers of my Hobbs' Protector lock ( https://www.antique-locks.com/showth...6899#post26899 ) are very similar to these levers and its key's bitting is very similar to the bitting of the unused part. So the main lock would have also very similar levers? Perhaps 9 plus 2 of the bits for turning a curtain?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    leeds
    Posts
    286
    Country: Great Britain

    Default

    The backpan or chamber is the back door onto the safe or strongroom boltwork, in a lot of the older stuff they used to be lockable to prevent anyone that had access to the doors whilst they were open from being able to tamper with anything or have access to locks so keys could be made, nowadays security comes second to cost so most backpans are screwed or bolted on, or at best have little cheap camlocks fitted.

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