The Lure of the Key

Knowledge Acquired from Some Thirty-Five Years Collecting

William Wallace

The Lure of the Key

William Wallace

Distributed for Unicorn Press Ltd

156 pages | 100 color plates | 9 3/4 x 11
Cloth $45.00 ISBN: 9781910787250 Published February 2017 For Sale in USA and Canada Only
The keys in your pocket right now are probably pretty boring. Mass-produced, stamped out without care, and used without thought, they’re nothing more these days than a tool.

​But that hasn’t always been the case—and the large numbers of key collectors the world over know better than anyone. In Lure of the Key, William Wallace draws on more than thirty-five years of collecting keys to offer a richly illustrated history of the key from the Middle Ages to 1900. Paying particular attention to the incredible innovations and craftsmanship of the period around 1700, the zenith of creative keymaking, Wallace invests his history with a clear sense of the pleasure and excitement of key collecting (or cagophily)—after reading his account, you’ll never take even your dull modern keys for granted again.
Contents
Acknowledgements
Foreword
What Has Gone Before
The Components and Purpose of the Key
The Apprentice
A Golden Age
The Age of Elegance
Victoriana
Chamberlain’s Keys
Keys of Special Merit
The Locksmiths
The Auction House
Maintenance and Improvement
Glossary of Terms
Bibliography
People of Note
Postscript
Collections Open to the Public
 
Review Quotes
Maine Antique Digest
“Wallace shows and tells in this beautifully designed book just what fascinates him about antique keys. He includes keys from around the fourteenth or fifteenth centuries up until just before the twentieth century. He provides enough history and visual treats to ignite the imagination and please the eye.”
For more information, or to order this book, please visit http://www.press.uchicago.edu
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