Large iron padlock: 13th century

Large iron padlock: 13th century
3 0 c m
40cm
actual image size: 29cm x 22cm

Full image caption

Large medieval iron padlock used to lock doors and chests. Consists of a ribbed barrel with a square loop on the top. This padlock is ornamented with ribs and cable edging and ribbon scrollwork at each end. It shows traces of brazing. Padlocks vary a lot in design, which implies that locksmiths tended not to share the details of their work with each other for security reasons. This one, like many others was unlocked with a slide key (a simple key, which, when pushed into the hole, presses together two springs and allows the padlock to be pulled open). Large padlocks like this one locked chests and doors, whereas smaller ones were used on caskets and cupboards.

© Museum of London

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