early 20th century hand forged steel exterior oversized skeleton key locksmith hanging trade sign

Regular Price: $1,800.00

Special Price $1,440.00

Availability: In Stock

UR #:: UR-23699-17

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Product Description

unique early 1900's oversized hand-wrought welded joint solid steel or iron locksmith hanging trade sign in the form of a large skeleton key, comprised of bow, barrel and an unusually designed bit, which is the part that actually engages the locking mechanism of a lock. the aforementioned components were likely affixed together using thermite or resistance welding. the antique american victorian era exterior trade sign was likely apart of a larger sign - perhaps hanging horizontally below a double-sided custom painted wood or tin sign identifying the locksmith's shop name and/or services provided. any and all of the original paint has been covered over time and again. the skeleton key has been brushed down to bare metal and sealed with a clear coat lacquer. the exact sign maker is not known. the trade sign took many forms in early america. when education was a privilege and literacy rare, the ideal trade sign immediately caught the attention of a passerby and, because of its design, was totally self-explanatory. folk artists, sometimes including itinerant portrait painters, created signs that bore pictures that visually explained the name of the establishment or the services to be found within. these signs usually carried pictures or lettering on both sides and were hung from a tall post at right angles to the road, so as to be visible to travelers approaching from either direction. three-dimensional carved trade signs were often produced in the same workshops as figureheads and other ship decorations and usually displayed the same broad-planed carving style that typified american figureheads. the introduction of electric signs, which could advertise a business in the dark, led to the decline of the carved trade signs. measures 43 x 10 1/2 inches. only one available.