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keys-locks-bib - 9/28/02


An annotated bibliography on medieval and Renaissance Locks and Keys by Magnus.


NOTE: See also the files: keys-locks-msg, caskets-boxes-msg, furniture-msg, decor-sources-msg, chests-msg, woodworking-msg, wood-finishes-msg.





This file is a collection of various messages having a common theme that I have collected from my reading of the various computer networks. Some messages date back to 1989, some may be as recent as yesterday.


This file is part of a collection of files called Stefan's Florilegium. These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org


I have done a limited amount of editing. Messages having to do with separate topics were sometimes split into different files and sometimes extraneous information was removed. For instance, the message IDs were removed to save space and remove clutter.


The comments made in these messages are not necessarily my viewpoints. I make no claims as to the accuracy of the information given by the individual authors.


Please respect the time and efforts of those who have written these messages. The copyright status of these messages is unclear at this time. If information is published from these messages, please give credit to the originator(s).


Thank you,

    Mark S. Harris                  AKA:  THLord Stefan li Rous

                                          Stefan at florilegium.org



Date: Thu, 19 Sep 2002 16:19:59 -0400

From: rmhowe <MMagnusM at bellsouth.net>

Subject: Early, Medieval and Renaissance Locks and Keys - Updated


Early, Medieval and Renaissance Locks and Keys


I realize not everyone is interested in locks and keys, however,

for some of you this will likely prove quite golden. It was

written in response to someone wanting to make a chest lock

for the Mastermyr Chest.  However, many of you have no

references at all. Now you do:


Artsikhovskii, A.V. & Kolchin, B.A. (eds.): Trudy Novgorodskoi

Arkheologicheskoi Ekspeditsii. Tom II. (Materialy i Issledovaniia

po Arkheologii SSSR. 65.) Moskva (Izdatel'stvo Akademii Nauk SSSR),

1959. 362, (2)pp. Prof. illus. Lrg. 4to.

(Novgorod 1958 Volume II: Iron and Steel by B.A. Kolchin includes

many metalworking, woodworking, wood turning, needlework tools

and pages 78-97 on locks, wooden locks, metal lock plates and keys.

Weapons by A. F. Medvedev,  Leatherwork and Shoemaking by S.A.

Izyumova, Metal articles of dress and adornment by M.V. Sedova,

Seals, Agriculture.


Arwidsson, Greta and Gosta Berg: The Mastermyr Find: A Viking Age

Tool Chest from Gotland.  Stockholm: KVHAA/Almqvist & Wiksell. 1983.

Kungl. Vitterhets Historie Och Antikvitets Akademien, Almquist

& Wiksell Intl., Stockholm, Sweden, 1983. Discusses Viking age

woodworking and metal-working tools, woodworking techniques,

and material culture. Reprinted by Norm Larson Books, CA 2000.

Larbooks at impulse.net $20. It does indeed have good sectional

drawings of the locking mechanism.


Bailey, Gordon; Detector Finds 2, Payne, Greg (Ed.) (Retail

Price £8.00 Each) 1995, pb, ISBN 1897738013. purse frames,

pocket sundials, medieval handles, thimbles, furniture fittings,

sentimental brooches, baldric buckles, watch keys, lead weights,

cased mirrors, toy cannons, cuff links, nut crackers, petronels,

sword belt fitments, scissors, horse pendants, foot pattens,

wine labels, -barrel locks and keys-, palm guards, button hooks,

dividers, sword and dagger chapes, brass horse bells, jaws harps,

hatpins, lead 'bells', spoons, scabbard fitments, miniature

domestic utensils, jettons.


Bailey, Gordon;  Detector Finds 3; Payne, Greg (Ed.) (Retail Price

£10.00Each) 1997, ISBN 2897738226

Lace tags, belt decorations, horseshoes, medieval candle holders,

bayonet scabbard hooks, pewter syringes, bronze pot legs, walking

stick tops and ferrules, medieval purse holders, brass lettering

from tombs, decorative pouring spouts, -casket, chest and door keys-;

snake form belt hooks; Roman and Saxon Pins; silver pins and bodkins;

pilgrims ampulla, -medieval barrel locks and keys-, cosmetic

implements; finger rings; clothing accessories.


Biddle, Martin, O.U.P.,  (ed.) Object and Economy in Medieval

Winchester : Artefacts from Medieval Winchester (Winchester Studies

7 II) Dec. 1990, 2 vols. 4to. cx + 1271pp. 387 figures, 65 plates

$350.00, Oxford Univ Pr; ISBN: 0198131755. Has a section on locks

and keys.  


Birley, Andrew (BA): Vindolanda Research Reports Volume IV - The

Small Finds – Fascicule II – Security: The Keys and Locks; 1997.

Published by Roman Army   Museum Publications, for the Vindolanda

Trust, Bardon Mill, Hexham, Northumberland, NE47 7JN, UK44pp.,

http://www.vindolanda.com/, 19 b/w full page illustrations (of multiple

items each) containing 91 examples of keys of many types, locks,

and lock plates, there are also a wooden lock survival from Vindolanda,

and a photograph of the one from the Roman fort at Saalburg, Germany,

Usual working or assembly methods of the metal keyed locks are not

illustrated as well as some other books. Includes 4 bone and a few

wooden keys. 300mm x 210mm large 4to paperbound. ISBN 187313651

  "An informative report on an often overlooked subject. This book

helps to draw a line under the fact that 500 heavily armed soldiers

were still often at the mercy of thievery amongst themselves.

Nearly 200 locking devices have been recovered from Vindolanda,

from AD 100 – 400, giving unusual insight into the evolution of

crime prevention in Roman Britain.

£5.95 plus postage or about $12  07/02


Blair, John: Anglo-Saxon Oxfordshire; Sutton Publishing Ltd. /

Oxfordshire Books, 1994/8, 230pp., 102 illustrations.

A very unique 7th C. -Janus head lock case- from Bishop’s Court.

ISBN 0750917504 pb, £14.99



(German Handwork in the Middle Ages) Bilder aus dem Hausbuch der

Mendelschen Zwölfbrüderstiftung in Nürnburg. (Pictures from the

Mendel Housebook) Publisher: Leipzig: Insel Verlag o. J. u.

Auflagenbezeichnung - first edition 1935, 1-20,000 copies.;

Insel Bucherei Nr. 477. No date. 47 SS. (47 pages)  Mit 36

ganzseitigen Bildern. (with 36 illustrations) OPp. (oberes

Kapital leicht      berieben).  12mo, 47pp, 36 full page illustrations,

no dj. Hardcover. Text in German. Type in Fraktur/Gothic. This is

a compilation of 36 drawings of craftsmen (and      patrons) in

different trades beginning about 1400 to 1451 in Germany.

A Locksmith in front of forge, under a timbered ceiling, filing at a

key with lock parts before him on a bench, backlit by an arched window.


Brailsford, J.W.[M.A., F.S.A., F.M.A.]: A Guide to the Antiquities

of Roman Britain; Published by The Trustees of the British Museum,

London, 1958. Heavy Cardboard Bound 8to, 86 pages, B&W plates

and illustrations. Includes diagrams of a working door or chest

lock and a padlock pages 76 and 78.


Brisbane, Mark (ed.): The Archaeology of Novgorod, Russia, Lincoln:

The Society for Medieval Archaeology, monography 13, 1992.

Subtitled ‘Recent results from the town and its hinterland' this

volume provides an English account of the important results that

continue to flow from the excavations at Novgorod. Six Russian

authors describe excavations in and around the town: historical

development, lay out of properties, interpretation of the finds

as evidence of trades, social and cultural states; description of

buildings and building techniques, and recent finds including

musical instruments. It is an excellent summary with lots of

illustrations. 240p with text figs and photos.

(Medieval Archaeology Monograph Series 13, 1992). They found

1,200 locks and keys here. A sample page of locks and keys and

a chronology page of those types are in the book.


CHAPMAN, D.J.: Medieval Locks and Keys, a Short Account of Their

History and Origin; Illus. in b/w. 12pp. Wrs. Privately printed

at Maidstone college of Art, 1956.


Cherry, J.: The Medieval Jewellery from the Fishpool, Nottinghamshire,

Hoard; Archaeologia 104, 1973, pp.301-21 including a

page on the Thames Hoard of 15th C. Jewellery and Plate LXXXVI

depicting the primary pieces in color. Heart shaped brooches, fancy

chains, rings, a -lock- locket, etc..


D'Allemagne, Henry Rene: Decorative Antique Ironwork, A Pictorial

Treasury, over 4500 illustrations, Dover, New York, 1968, 416 pages,

PB, ISBN 0486220826, contains many locks, keys and escutcheon plates

on pages 36-104, and also contains many illustrations of medieval

and renaissance chests and almsboxes on pages 391-408.


Diehl, Daniel, and Mark Donnelly: Medieval Furniture: Plans and

Instructions for Historical Reproductions; The successor to

Constructing Medieval Furniture presents fourteen new furniture

designs. The projects are preceded by useful sections on medieval

decorating, wood- and metalworking, woodcarving, locks and finishes.

Illustrated throughout. 179p, 16 color plates, many b/w illustrations

(Stackpole Books 1999). ISBN: 0811728544 (Put in for availability.)


Eras, V.J.M.: Locks and Keys Throughout the Ages, Lips and Co.

1957. Publisher: Dordrecht: The Author, ca1956.; Cloth; 194 pp;

304 illustrations. An extensive study of locks, their history,

their metallurgy, their application, and much more.

or the

Dutch Edition; ERAS, V.J.M.,: Sloten en Sleutels Door de Eeuwen Heen.;

[Dordrecht, Lips], 1941. 4to. 175 pp. Met ca.300 ills.


Egan, Geoff: The Medieval Household: Daily Living 1150-1450  

ISBN 0112904904 This sixth volume in the series `Medieval Finds

from Excavations in London' has fixtures and fittings, furnishings,

locks and keys. 342p with illus (Stationery Office 1998) Hb £50.00


Friar, Stephen: A Companion to the English Parrish Church;

Bramley Books, 1998, An imprint of Quadrillion Publishing Ltd.,

Godaling Business Centre, Woolsack Way, Godalming, Surrey

GU7 1XW. 517 page hardback, illustrated, dj, ISBN 1858337380.  

A good close up drawing of a falcon within a fetterlock badge is

under badges on page 31. Church door locks, post medieval period

are discussed on page 167. Another fetterlock is carved on a

misericord on page 295.


A Viking Lock and a wooden lock case with metal parts was found

at Jorvik (York, England) and it shows up in differing views in

R.A. Hall's books The Viking Dig and Viking Age York.


Hall, Richard: Viking Age York; Batsford Ltd., London, English

Heritage Series. 1st Ed. 1994. ISBN 0713470143 PB or 0713470135

HB. This one has the wooden cased lock with internal metal

mechanism found at 6-8 Pavement Street, possibly from a chest.

The iron barreled padlock from 16-22 Coppergate is on pages 92-3.


Hall, Richard: The Excavations at York - The Viking Dig; The

Bodley Head, London, 1984, ISBN 0370308212 PB. This one has the

10th Century iron barrel padlock with explanatory drawings and

a separate key on page 108 and 110.


Holmquist, Wilhelm: Excavations at Helgo, Volume I for 1954-6,

Kungl. Vitterhets Historie och Antikvitets Akademien, Stockholm,

1961 has pages 115-6 and 120-22 as well as plates 33-7 (multiple

examples on each) on locks and keys found there.


Kolchin, B.A.: Metallurgy and Metalworking in Ancient Russia,

Translated from the Russian, Published for the Smithsonian

Institution and the National Science Foundation, Washington,

D.C., Printed in Jerusalem by S. Monson, 1967. Has eight pages

on Russian locks and keys.


A 14th C. medieval German Locksmith is depicted at work in the

Mendel Hausbuch.


Mills, Nigel: Medieval Artefacts; 1999, ISBN 1897738277.

Buckles; strapends and belt mounts; seal matrices; thimbles;

pilgrim badges; finger rings; brooch buckles; harness pendants;

-locks and keys-; weights, spoons, knives and pottery; arrowheads,

spurs and edged weapons; purses, pins, buttons, pendants, mirrors,

and whistles; ecclestiastical objects; select bibliography.     


Monk, Eric: Keys - Their History & Collection; Shire Publications

Ltd., 1983. Card covers, 64 pages. http://www.Shirebooks.com/    


Ottaway, Patrick: York 17/6 / Anglo-Scandinavian Ironwork from

16-22 Coppergate; 1992, 284pp, 160 illustrations, ISBN 187241429X,

£30.00 The site produced evidence for every aspect of the

production of iron artefacts, although smelting probably took place

elsewhere. The wide range of excellently preserved ironwork, the

most complete collection from  pre-Conquest England, is also

evidence for a variety of domestic and craft activities. This also

includes quite a variety of pages on various styles of barrel,

door and chest type locks. Very well illustrated.

Available from the York Archaeological Trust.


PITT-RIVERS, Lieut.-Gen.: On the Development and Distribution

of Primitive Locks and Keys. ; London. Chatto & Windus. 1883.

4to. pp. 31. 10 hors texte plates, printed on rectos only,

each with an unnumbered text leaf. Gilt-decorated boards.

Discusses the etymology of words for locks and keys; and

European (including Scandinavian) Chinese, Egyptian, Greek and

Roman pieces.

(While this thing is quite rare I did manage to borrow a falling

apart copy from the Chicago Public Library I think. Two pages

of the thirty-one were still attached.)  


Quennell, Marjorie and C.H.B.: Everyday Life in Roman and Saxon

Time - Including Viking and Norman Times; New York, G.P. Putnam's

Son's, 1984, has several pages on locks in the Smith section.

Also in the People and their Houses section.


Singer, Charles (ed. et al): A History of Technology, Volume II, The

Mediterranean Civilizations and the Middle Ages c. 700 BC

to c. A.D. 1500; 1956, Oxford University Press, New York and

London. The listings are under Building Construction in the

index. Doors and Locks are disscussed on 403,  415-6, 425. Locks and

Keys are 415-6 and 429-30. Illustrations of Greek and Roman

door keys and locks (3) are on page 416. Page 415 cites a primitive

type of Egyptian wooden lock in /Singer’s Volume I, figure 496B.

On page 430 are two illustrations of  a Norman lock made of a large

wooden beam which encases the mechanism of the lock.  A key is

shown moving in the lock to illustrate it’s working. This is probably

from Castor, England as a surviving Norman dooor lock and key

are cited on page 429.


Viking Heritage Magazine: Number 1 1999

Some thoughts concerning a key type from the Viking Age.  

(Discusses archaeological lock and key finds, including rotational

bow locks and 2 piece bolt-locks.  Diagram of lock mechanism,

diagrams of several keys and key-shaped pendants. Evidence that

keys are also found in men's graves, not just in women's graves.

Excellent bibliography, some publications in English.)


Ward, John: Roman Britain, Parkgate Books; has a number of pages

on Roman locks and door-locks.


Ward Perkins, J B. London Museum Medieval Catalogue 1940. Anglia

Publishing, 1993, £30.00 has a really good section


11 Mar 2002 "dwilson" <dwilson at nbnet.nb.ca>

RE: Early, Medieval and Renaissance Locks and Keys


- Sheepstealer


Tools from the Mastermyr Find book

http://www.netlabs.net/~osan/ImageLib.html on page 9 of the catalog.  

There is a complete discription of the lock, key and parts with

present dimensions.



Master Magnus Malleus, OL © 2002 R.M. Howe

*No reposting my writings to newsgroups, especially rec.org.sca, or

the SCA-Universitas elist. I view this as violating copyright

restrictions. As long as it's to reenactor or SCA -closed- subscriber

based email lists or individuals I don't mind. It's meant to

help people without aggravating me.*


<the end>

Formatting copyright © Mark S. Harris (THLord Stefan li Rous).
All other copyrights are property of the original article and message authors.

Comments to the Editor: stefan at florilegium.org