Loyola University Chicago

Loyola University Museum of Art

Double-bit Key

Double-bit Key, 18th century
The Patricia Brett Erens Key Collection, 2006-01-103

With this gift of 160 locks and keys, LUMA now has one of the largest and most diverse collections of such material in an American museum. Items range for a Roman key in the form of a lioness, through medieval warded and Renaissance "Wedding Chamber" keys, to intricately cut eighteenth and nineteenth-century keys. The collection also contains an example of a Bamana lock from Mali in western Africa and many examples of Chinese padlocks, the codes for which were composed of Chinese characters and sayings.