Padlock and key

André Omereler

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 520

Elevating less-exalted materials through expertise, celebrated locksmiths in urban centers such as Augsburg took their place beside goldsmiths and armorers. Possibly a guild showpiece or even a masterpiece produced for guild admission, this padlock boasts a beautifully coordinated mechanism designed to confound an interloper but to work with systematic clarity for those in the know. Disguised, the real keyhole is revealed when one of the shields is turned to the right, releasing two bolts, unlatching a cover inside, and causing a panel to slide upward.

Padlock and key, André Omereler, Steel, partially gilded brass, Southern German

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Lock and key