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Locksmith's Sign thumbnail 2
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Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Europe 1600-1815, Room 3

Locksmith's Sign

1760-1800 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Until the 19th century, trade-signs, often made of iron, enlivened many European streets. They acted as indicators of the sort of trade being carried out, or the goods being marketed within the premises. Signs also allowed private houses and institutions to be readily identified in a large town or city - particularly necessary before the 19th century introduction of house numbering and street signs and in an age when illiteracy was still widespread.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Wrought iron
Brief Description
Locksmith's sign, wrought iron, Germany, late 18th century
Physical Description
Locksmith's sign in the form of a wrought iron bracket. Asymmetical scrolling foliage issuing from a cornucopia, supporting a lion holding a key.
Dimensions
  • Height: 74cm
  • Width: 67cm
  • Depth: 5cm
Style
Gallery Label
BRACKET Wrought iron France; 17th century The cornucopia on which the key is balanced and the asymmetrical scrolls show the influence of the Rococo style. Museum No. 545-1869(07/1994)
Subjects depicted
Summary
Until the 19th century, trade-signs, often made of iron, enlivened many European streets. They acted as indicators of the sort of trade being carried out, or the goods being marketed within the premises. Signs also allowed private houses and institutions to be readily identified in a large town or city - particularly necessary before the 19th century introduction of house numbering and street signs and in an age when illiteracy was still widespread.
Bibliographic References
  • Gardner, John Starkie. Ironwork. Part 2: Continental ironwork of the renaissance and later periods. London, 1896.Pl.40, p.103
  • Campbell, Marian Decorative Ironwork, London, Victoria and Albert Museum, 1997. p.65. ill. ISBN: 1851771956
Collection
Accession Number
545-1869

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record createdJune 24, 2009
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