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Key, 14th–15th century

This is a Key. It is dated 14th–15th century and we acquired it in 1910. Its medium is cast bronze. It is a part of the Product Design and Decorative Arts department.

Early keys are heavy, thick, and ornately turned. In the medieval age the blacksmith was also a locksmith and made all objects of steel ranging from weapons and farming tools to keys. Iron manufacture in the Middle Ages was comprised of three basic practices: mining, extracting the ore, smelting in which the ore was melted down in order to separate the metallic components from impurities, and smithing, which involved heating the iron and shaping it with a hammer and other tools.

This object was donated by Charles W. Gould. It is credited Gift of Charles W. Gould.

  • Lock
  • Gift of Charles W. Gould.
  • 1910-10-5
  • Lock
  • Gift of Ruth Friedman in memory of Harry G. Friedman.
  • 1966-3-8
  • Lock
  • Gift of the C. Helme and Alice B. Strater Collection.
  • 1976-1-123-a

Its dimensions are

L x W: 6.7 × 4.1 cm (2 5/8 × 1 5/8 in.)

Cite this object as

Key, 14th–15th century; cast bronze; L x W: 6.7 × 4.1 cm (2 5/8 × 1 5/8 in.); Gift of Charles W. Gould; 1910-10-6

This object was previously on display as a part of the exhibition Ellen DeGeneres Selects.

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If you would like to cite this object in a Wikipedia article please use the following template:

<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url= |title=Key, 14th–15th century |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=25 March 2023 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>