Vintage keys are the perfect collectors item. They are affordable, attractive, and have a story behind them that you can only imagine (or just make up!). Finding vintage keys is very hit or miss, and you know, as a collector, that every time you see them, buy them!
What if you could find thousands of them in one place? This Hub will show you where!
Finding a vintage key in an antique shop is always a great find, but it can be rare and the prices can vary a lot from one shop to the next. Online, prices seem to be much more balanced, and although you have to pay for shipping, they cost less. There is also a lot more choice online than you can find by visiting all of the antique stores in your area (and probably state). It can be overwhelming, but it's better to have too many choices than none!
In this Hub I want to break vintage keys up into two categories; skeleton keys, and keys with locks. You'll see tons of shopping choices available through eBay, where they also have hundreds more on their site that I can't fit here.
If you don't see the key or lock that you're looking for, clicking on any of the listings below will take you to their site where you can see the huge selection that they have to offer.
Shopping for vintage keys is an adventure, but you can make a quick increase in your collection very quickly by shopping on eBay.
Vintage Skeleton Keys
Vintage skeleton keys are just plain cool to have around. You can hang them from necklaces, use them as decorations, or keep them for yourself. It's also becoming popular to install faux key holes on cabinets and have ornate keys sticking out of them.
Almost all skeleton keys are going to be made from brass, but there are a few made from pewter. This gives you the option, should you choose, to clean up the key to give it a new shine. I know that there is a lot of debate about whether or not this should be done, but in my opinion it's totally up to you, they are your keys!
Keys will range from extremely simple all the way to ornate and decorated. The level of decoration will obviously be the biggest influence in the price of the key, so be ready to get what you pay for. Size and age are also going to affect the price, but not nearly as much as the detail and decoration.
If you're looking for a large set of keys, eBay will also have those. A quick search for 'vintage keys lot' on the eBay site will bring up all of their listings for those.
Vintage Lock And Key
Finding a vintage lock and key set is a bit tougher than just a key, but that doesn't mean that it can't be done. These are also much rarer in your standard antique or vintage shop, so if you're looking to build up a collection, doing it online is definitely the best way.
It's wild to stare at a vintage lock and think about how detailed, decorated, and creative they were just a hundred years ago, and how standardized and boring they are now.
I guess that's why we collect them!
There are almost as many different styles and characteristics in the locks as there are the keys. Expect to pay more for the more ornate ones, as well as the larger and older ones. Shipping is also going to be more because of the heft that a lock carries.
Finding more than one of a single lock is very tough to do, so if that's what you're looking for you may have to dig deep to track a set down. There just wasn't a standard for lock making back then, so each one has it's own characteristics.
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