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Locksmith's sign

Locksmith's sign

  • Place of origin:

    Germany (made)

  • Date:

    1760-1800 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Wrought iron

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Europe 1600-1815, Room 3, case SC1, shelf NORTH

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.

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.

Place of Origin

Germany (made)


1760-1800 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Wrought iron


Height: 74 cm, Width: 67 cm, Depth: 5 cm

Descriptive line

Locksmith's sign, wrought iron, Germany, late 18th century

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Pl.40, p.103
Gardner, John Starkie. Ironwork. Part 2: Continental ironwork of the renaissance and later periods. London, 1896.
Campbell, Marian Decorative Ironwork, London, Victoria and Albert Museum, 1997. p.65. ill. ISBN: 1851771956

Labels and date

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]


Wrought iron


Forging (metal forming)

Subjects depicted

Lion (animal); Scrolling foliage; Cornucopia; Keys (hardware)


Ironwork; Metalwork


Metalwork Collection

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