SKU: 101
Categories: ,


This richly illustrated book traces the history of the key through the ages. It is a tribute to the beauty of the key that has accompanied the peoples and crossed the epochs, from antiquity to the twenty-first century. For each epoch or type of key, the author describes the typology, identification criteria, ornamentation and history as well as the most important characteristics of the keys then in use. Antique, Roman, Celtic, Medieval or Renaissance key, baroque or classic, church key, chambellan, massive key of iron chest, key of master or dual function and many other keys – mainly European – are successively studied .
A rich illustration reflects the diversity of shapes and brings out the beauty of these objects, sometimes true masterpieces of locksmiths because of the complexity of their decor or the simplicity of their lines.

Morphology of the key
About 4000 BC: Closures in Egypt: Locks and Seals
Ancient Greece Keys: Temple Key, Hook Key, Laconian Key
Bronze Age Lake Keys
Celtic keys: Hallstatt, keys of Sanzeno, of Manching. Specific typology.
Roman keys
Clefs de Palestine (1st – 2nd century)
High medieval and Carolingian keys (6th – 11th century)
Clefs Vikings in Scandinavia (ninth century): interlacing and amulets
Romanesque keys (11th – 13th century)
Gothic keys (XIIth – XVIth century) The keys of the castle of Dover
Keys from the Renaissance Period: Venetian, English and French Keys
Keys of mastery (15th – 18th century): Architectural perfection, Key of masterpiece, The dream of the collector.
Church Keys: The Key in the Bible, Iconography, Key-Relics, Papacy and Keys
Keys of Chamberlain (16th century – 1918)
Baroque keys and rococo (17th – 18th century): Passe-partout, key to platinum, cordelier,
So-called “English” keys (around 1700)
Massive keys of iron chests (XVIIth – XVIIIth century)
Double function keys: pipe, arquebuse, to message, corkscrew!
Keys of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries: end of the forged key, cast iron, Yale, Art Nouveau
Modern keys, the electronic revolution
Table of the evolution of the keys from the Roman era to the Gothic period
Table of the evolution of the keys of the Renaissance in the 20th century
Museums and Galleries

Additional information


1605 g


31 × 24 cm

Date de sortie




Nombre de pages




Type de reliure