October 27, 2016, 7:00 AM PST
Louisville, CO, USALive Auction
Lot 146: 18th C. Iron Skeleton Keys - 24 Varying Sizes(16 views)
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Estimate: $500 - $700
Europe or North America, 18th century CE. A collection of fourteen iron skeleton keys of varying sizes. The skeleton key was introduced by the Romans and continued to be used until the mid-1800s. Many of these, with their large loops and hooks, reflect the greatest reason for that invention, which is that the keys were small enough to be carried in groups by individuals. The keeper of a household would often carry keys like these around in a ring on the belt. Size of largest: 6" L (15.2 cm)
Provenance: Ex-Historia Antiques, Santa Monica, Ca; James Caswell collection
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Condition Report: Smooth reddish patina on most.