Origin: English Period: George III Provenance: Unknown Date: c.1790-1810 Length: 8.75 inches Width: 2.5 inches (at bow)
The heavy Georgian period part-barrel shafted iron key having an elaborate symmetrical bow, the bit with a cut out ecclesiastical cross, the shank with moulded ripple sections.
The key is in very good condition with slight rusting commensurate with age and no damage to report. There is some natural bend to the shaft.
In folklore, church keys had the power to cure the sick, tame unruly children, and catch one’s true love. Church keys were especially magical. The giant, heavy key, forged of iron by the blacksmith, could help alleviate or even cure illness.
Many different types of locks can be found on church doors, depending on age, location and patronage. They may be either rim locks, mortice locks or even padlocks, and be of completely metal construction or of wood and iron. The doors of many historic churches still carry an old wooden lock although often you find that a modem 5-lever mortice lock has been installed along side it to meet insurance requirements. Some of these old locks will date from the foundation of the church and some from when the original door was last replaced, but many are the result of a Victorian makeover.
Simply hang over a doorway or place in a niche for ultimate decorative effect or use as a gothic ecclesiastical paperweight.