In the 17th century most locks were manufactured from brass or wrought iron. The matching keys were often elaborately decorated and showed great craftsmanship. The bit was meticulously cut out and the shaft was decorated, often with baluster shaped and open work ornamentation. The decoration of the bow often related to the owner.
The bow of this key consists of two facing birds with spread wings.
This key stems from a typical group of keys made by the end of the 17th century. Probably this key is made by the Bickford family, locksmiths to the court of William III.
Collection Bergues, France
Private collection France
Raymond Lecocq, Serrurerie ancienne, Techniques et oeuvres, Paris, 1973, p. 240