Archive for the ‘Vintage Finds’ Category

You probably never heard of them, but these are some interesting keys with an unusual shape and history. First of all, let me brag with my little collection:

First time I saw one of these keys I was so puzzled, I even begun to think the previous owner of it made the weird slits by himself for an unknown purpose. I’ve seen a lot of unusual vintage keys since then.

But after researching I found there was a proper name for these types of keys, and I discovered their history.

The Bramah keys are named after their inventor, Joseph Bramah (1748-1814), a cabinet maker that invented many things, from the hydraulic press, a paper making machine, to an improved flushing system for the toilet πŸ˜€ This is how inventors were back then, they looked around and thought about what they could improve in the world around them.

Around 1800, he made the Bramah padlock, and he was so confident and proud of his invention that he challenged people to lock-pick it, displaying the “Challenge Lock” in the window of his shop with a note saying: “The artist who can make an instrument that will pick or open this lock shall receive 200 guineas the moment it is produced.” 200 guineas were a lot of money back then. Anyone could try, but it took more than 60 years until someone finally succeeded. So for 60 years, the locks held the title of unpickable locks and were used for diamond safes and important secrets πŸ™‚ Most burglars and thieves gave up instantly when they saw a Bramah lock.

image from www.antiquebox.org

The American locksmith Alfred Charles Hobbs worked 16 days, few hours a day totaling 52 hours, and finally managed to open it and got the big prize. Hobbs was a seller of locks too, and he was driven not by the large money amount, but he was determined to ruin the reputation of the locks sold by his competition, something he did on regular basis πŸ™‚ After he opened the Bramah lock, the Bank of England got scared and had all of their locks swapped out for the ones Hubbs was selling. Talking about a good salesman!

The Challenge Lock is now displayed at the Science Museum in London. Bramah locks and their tubular keys are still made today with variations and no two keys are ever repeated.

A LIL’ BIT ABOUT THE AUTHOR: ILONKA

[avatar user=”ILONKA” size=”100″ align=”left” /]

Ilonka has an eye for finding the most interesting treasures for us to use in our work, to collect and sell in our shop. She’s in love with everything vintage and doesn’t miss a fair day, like, ever! Ilonka is an artist and her designs are mostly one of a kind art books. That’s because she’s got too many ideas and too little time.

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This is the pray I carried home from the fair! It may not seem a lot but there are treasures within! There are a bunch of stamps (I am a regular for the sellers in the vintage fair that sell old stamps, they even wait for me at the fair saying: Here, I saved these for you ’cause I knew you’d come) also two lovely keys from late 1800’s or beginning of 1900’s.

Also these pretty playing cards:

The playing cards are so beautifully made, I mean, look of the details of each queen, jack and king! I love them! A little piece of art in each one. And the costumes… I think I will use these as ex-libris, on the front page of some small leather journals.

I wonder which people played with these cards, if some lost money or some became richer πŸ™‚

A social game using playing cards. Oil painting by an unknown artist, c1850, source: Wikipedia

I also buy a lot of vintage photos, usually separate pictures, but these were in an album and they were all interesting so we will remake the weathered cover of this album and restore its former glory.There are fancy ladies, some with gloves, some with pearls, some with really elegant hats. And as usual, they had lots and lots of kids, that, apparently had no mood for posing πŸ™‚ Look at those faces LOL

 

 

And last, but not least, a little brass thimble. It was a bargain! That’s why I love the vintage fair πŸ™‚ When you look up close to it, you can see a detailed little icon. It has some writings on it as well but it is so tiny that I haven’t decipher it yet.

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That’s all for today, I am pretty happy with my finds! If you know a similar thimble, I’d love to see some photos, I haven’t seen anything like this before!

A LIL’ BIT ABOUT THE AUTHOR: ILONKA

[avatar user=”ILONKA” size=”100″ align=”left” /]

Ilonka has an eye for finding the most interesting treasures for us to use in our work, to collect and sell in our shop. She’s in love with everything vintage and doesn’t miss a fair day, like, ever! Ilonka is an artist and her designs are mostly one of a kind art books. That’s because she’s got too many ideas and too little time.

love it, share it! google pinterest