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A collection of bronze Roman keys from about 200 AD.

A collection of bronze Roman keys from about 200 AD.

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Keys from the post medieval period found in Denbigh Castle, Ruthin, Wales

Clefs anciennes de collection, histoires des cléfs et leurs serrures.

Clefs anciennes de collection, histoires des cléfs et leurs serrures.

INTERESTING ROMAN BRONZE KEY - Bronze, Interesting, Roman

INTERESTING ROMAN BRONZE KEY - Bronze, Interesting, Roman

Wooden block lock with spring, bolt, and key of iron, late 14th century. Sketch by the author.

Wooden block lock with spring, bolt, and key of iron, late 14th century. Sketch by the author.

From the first century AD Romans secured their valuables in locked coffers. Rings with a key attached ro the bezel like this one could be used to open them. Examples have been found in bronze, but also in more precious metals, many of which in Pompei. The type continued in use during the early medieval period.  This very practical function doubled up with a more status related function. Persons wearing these keys were the only one having the right to accees the family money and jewellery.

Ring

From the first century AD Romans secured their valuables in locked coffers. Rings with a key attached ro the bezel like this one could be used to open them. Examples have been found in bronze, but also in more precious metals, many of which in Pompei. The type continued in use during the early medieval period. This very practical function doubled up with a more status related function. Persons wearing these keys were the only one having the right to accees the family money and jewellery.

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