Coffer lock and key
- probably early 16th century
- Wrought iron
- a) 8 3/4 x 7 1/4 in. (22.2 x 18.4 cm); b) L. 3 13/16 in. (9.7 cm)
- Credit Line:
- Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1957
- Accession Number:
The shrine of Saint James the Great at the cathedral of Santiago da Compostela was one of the most popular pilgrimage sites of the Middle Ages. Cockleshell emblems of the saint appeared everywhere in Spanish ornament, from nail heads to window grilles. They appear on the bottom end of the two giant staples by which this lock was attached to a coffer or chest. A winged monster with a fish tail ornaments the hasp of the lock; a swiveling baluster conceals the keyhole.