Many locks are undeniably beautiful to look at, whether it be their flamboyantly intricate inner workings or decorative, ornate outer plates. Maybe not so much with modern locks, where the focus on function is seen as far more important than the need for touches of elaborate stylistic flair, but certainly with locks of old. Thankfully for us, and highlighted by the collection assembled below, many of these old works of art have been kept in pristine condition and continue to stand guard the world over.
Above: Designed by Franz von Stuck and found at Bremen City Hall, Germany.
Above: The stunning inner-workings of a chest lock in Levoča, Slovakia.
Above: A door lock built in the 16th Century in Romania.
Above: Another beautiful lock found in the lid of a chest, this time in Croatia.
Above: A lock and key from Rothenburg, Germany.
Above: This grand, textured lock was spotted in Chennai, India.
Above: Gorgeous. St. Peter’s Church, Salzburg, Austria.
Above: Intricate ironwork, found at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.
Above: An extravagant lock plate attached to a gate in Vancouver.
Above: An incredible design by celebrated craftsman Frank Koralewsky.
To finish, a quick look at the magnificent Aubin Trophy, a 3,000-piece mechanism containing 44 connected locks and keys, all of which can be turned by way of a single master key that runs down its central column. A masterpiece of engineering when built in 1849.