Art/ Collection/ Art Object
{{img.publicCaption}}

Key

Date:
15th century
Culture:
German
Medium:
Iron
Dimensions:
Overall: 5 9/16 x 1 3/4 x 13/16 in. (14.2 x 4.4 x 2.1 cm)
Classification:
Metalwork-Iron
Credit Line:
Gift of Henry G. Marquand, 1887
Accession Number:
87.11.441
Not on view
The decoration of Gothic iron locks and keys was often elaborate and of the highest standard of workmanship. The motifs were frequently drawn from Gothic architecture, reproducing on a miniature scale complicated tracery patterns and even tiny statuettes. A number of these tiny locks were compound, with some of the mechanisms concealed from view, and required two or even three keys used in sequence to open them. It has been suggested that the greatly expanded use of locks on doors, or coffrets and other types of storage chests was a result of the increasing urbanization of life and the new emphasis on material wealth and private ownership which developed in the late Middle Ages.
Henry G. Marquand, New York (until 1887)
Related Objects

Spiral Key

Date: early 16th century Medium: Iron Accession: 10.100.133 On view in:Gallery 307

Aquamanile in the Form of a Unicorn

Date: ca. 1425–50 Medium: Copper alloy Accession: 64.101.1493 On view in:Gallery 17

Door Handle

Date: 16th century Medium: Iron Accession: 87.11.691a On view in:Gallery 307

Door Handle

Date: late 15th century Medium: Iron, velvet core Accession: 87.11.693c On view in:Gallery 307

Door Rasp

Date: 15th–16th century Medium: Wrought Iron Accession: 87.11.714a On view in:Gallery 307