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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Country: United States

    Default Help identifying old key that was hidden in my house

    Very new to this forum so I hope you will forgive any ignorance this post may betray.

    About six months ago my girlfriend and I bought and moved into a 1907 American Foursquare house in Rochester, NY. Among the many ornate features of the home is an old gas fireplace with seven sculpted cherub heads jutting out of it from just below the mantel. The effect is a little over the top but it's definitely the centerpiece of our living room.

    Several weeks ago my girlfriend was tapping a small nail into place on the bottom of the mantel next to the wall as a means to keep a lamp cord from dangling into view. As she gently hammered, some small debris fell from a little crack where the fireplace meets the wall. Other than plaster and dust, there were several hairpin-like objects that fell to the floor. And then there was this key.

    Out of curiosity, I Googled different descriptions of the key to try and ascertain what kind of lock or object it would be used for. A jewelry box? A secret diary? Buried treasure?

    That night I left the key in a glass of white vinegar. The next morning I scrubbed away the accumulated blackness in an effort to find out if there were some markings that might give us a clue as to the origin of the key but there were none. The key also had been bent slightly. I restored the key to its original shape by tapping it with a hammer against a tabletop. It's only about one and a quarter inch in length (3.175 cm) and is uniformly thin and flat.

    The object the key unlocked is almost certainly long gone but we're still interested to know more about it. Any guesses as to what the key may have unlocked? How old could it be? And, to invite wild speculation, why was it hidden behind our fireplace?

    Any help appreciated - thanks!
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