When it comes to hidden treasures, most people don”t care about the chest or lock. But, sometimes, these items are almost as impressive as the treasure itself.
These incredible locks were used throughout history to guard some of the deepest secrets, treasures, or unseen horrors. In fact, much is written about the objects protected by the locks. However, little has been mentioned about the locks themselves. After one look at these 17 antique locks, you have to wonder which is the real treasure: what the lock protects, or the lock itself?
1. Lock with ornamental grotesques and scrolls, by N. Du Feyis, France, 1630.
2. Horse-shaped pad lock, India, 18th or 19th century.
3. A “detector” lock, John Wilkes, 1680.
4. A fish-shaped lock from China, made of rosewood during the Qing Dynasty (1644-1912).
5. Iron padlock, Nuremberg, 16th century.
6. Lock for a wooden sacristy door in the fortified church of Biertan, Romania, 1524.
7. Detail of a masterpiece, wrought, moulded, and pierced iron, France, 1550.
8. A lock with four turning bolts, John Wilkes, late 17th century.
9. Wrought, pierced, molded, and engraved iron, Paolo Acquadro, Turin, Italy, 1854
10. Inner workings of a trunk, France, 17th century.
11. Rim lock, John Wilkes, 17th century.
12. By GS, an unknown master, Germany, 1610.
13. Padlock, Germany, 17th century.
14. Chamber lock with pierced, engraved, and gilt brass, John Wilkes, England, 1695.
15. Padlock and key, Andre Omereler, Germany, 1531.
16. Werewolf padlock.
17. A door lock from Germany, early 17th century.
Imagine what these master locksmiths would think of the paltry locks we buy from Home Depot. Would they be astonished at the utter lack of creativity, or marvel at the mass production? I hope the latter, but fear the former.