Ancient Roman Keys and Locks

Predecessors of the keys and locks of today, these crude ancient Roman keys were formed nearly 2,000 years ago to fit into equally crude tumbler-locks. Over a short period of time, these became more refined and more secure, until the Romans really developed the first home security system. These keys and locks cover the whole range of development. From the first, crude trials in the 1st century BC to the 1st century AD, to the Golden Era of the 3rd and 4th centuries AD. These were recovered from Roman settlements near Thrace, on the Black Sea. See also: All Ancient Roman Artifacts


Ancient Rome, c. 1st - 3rd century AD. Huge iron key. Long tapered shaft with large loop at end, mostly intact but with a couple damaged pins on the tip. Nicely preserved. 90 mm (3 1/2") long. ex-Los Angeles, CA private collection. #AR2316: $199

Ancient Rome, c. 1st - 3rd century AD. Nice iron key. Long tapered shaft with small loop at its rounded, angular end. Completely intact, professionally conserved. 85 mm (3 1/4") long with nice silvery-black patina. ex-German private collection. #AR2315: $175

Ancient Rome, c. 1st - 3rd century AD. Interesting iron key. Short, tapered shaft with large loop, angular tip with 3 long pins. Intact. 52 mm (2") long. ex-Los Angeles, CA collection. #AR2317: $175

Medieval Germany, 11th century AD or earlier. Fantastic large iron door key. Hooked end, hollow tip. 72 mm (2 7/8") long, nicely preserved. ex-Indianapolis, IN museum collection. #AM2039: $250

Huge Medieval iron padlock, c. 11th-14th century AD. Still retains both its original mounts - the wooden door rotted away centuries ago. Deadbolt pin still moves inside the mechanism! Doesn't slide all the way out - you'd need a key to do that. Talk about quality craftmanship! Extremeny well preserved for iron. Would make a great display-piece! Lock itself measures 145 mm (5 3/4") across, with mounts extended measures 345 mm (13 1/2") across! Ex-Los Angeles, Ca private collection. #271025: $399

Medieval Europe, 10th-13th century AD. Very well-preserved Medieval iron lock-bolt / padlock! Found at a Medieval site near the Black Sea, in Eastern Europe. Measures 100 mm (4 ") long. Ex-Los Angeles, Ca private collection. #51131: $250

Ancient Roman key rings! Because of a lack of pockets in their togas, Romans sometimes wore their keys on their fingers. This made it easy to keep track of important keys used to lock up valuable possessions.

Roman, c. 2nd-3rd century AD. Bronze key-ring. For lack of pockets in their togas, the ancients often wore keys to important boxes, etc on their fingers. Deep-cut detail, great patina. 25 mm, US size 3 3/4. ex-Los Angeles, CA collection. #JR2038x2: $175


Ancient Rome, c. 1st-3rd century AD. Large and heavy bronze key-ring. Large ring end, angled tip with thick pins. Perfectly preserved with nice olive-green patina and earthen deposits. 49 mm (1 7/8") long. ex-Los Angeles, CA collection. #AR2318: $175

Ancient Rome, c. 1st-3rd century AD. Bronze key-ring. Simple design, device extended at a 90-degree angle from the end of the shaft. 39 mm (1 1/4") long, about a US ring size 6. Reddish-brown patina. Ex-Los Angeles, Ca private collection. #AR2054x2: $99

Roman, 3rd-4th century AD. Beautiful large bronze lock-face, crafted in the form of an animal, perhaps a goat. 67 mm (2 5/8") long. Nice olive-green patina. Charming! #51117: $150

Roman, c. 3rd - 4th Century AD. Cute bronze lock-face in the form of a dog (hound) with a small bird seated upon its head!
Measures 2 1/4" (5.7 cm). Very charming. #AR2018: $199

Ancient Rome. c. 1st-3rd century AD. Bronze key door-lock bolt. The metal mechanism from a Roman wooden cabinet or door, moved by only the correct key in ancient times. 43 mm (1 11/16") long and perfectly preserved with olive-green patina, earthen deposits. ex-Los Angeles, CA private collection. #AR2244: $99

Ancient Rome. c. 1st-3rd century AD. Bronze key door-lock bolt. The metal mechanism from a Roman wooden cabinet or door, moved by only the correct key in ancient times. 45 mm (1 3/4") long and perfectly preserved with olive-green patina, earthen deposits. ex-Los Angeles, CA private collection. #AR2245: $99

Ancient Rome. c. 1st-3rd century AD. Bronze key door-lock bolt. The metal mechanism from a Roman wooden cabinet or door, moved by only the correct key in ancient times. 31 mm (1 1/4") long and nicely preserved with olive-green patina, earthen deposits. ex-Los Angeles, CA private collection. #AR2243: $45

Ancient Roman bronze key door-lock bolts. 1st-3rd century AD. The metal mechanism from Roman wooden doors, moved by only the correct key in ancient times. Measure between 47-70 mm long. Representative examples shown; several available. $45 each.


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Related terms: ancient keys for sale, ancient Roman keys for sale, Roman bronze key for sale, ancient Greek door key for sale, ancient Roman key lock for sale, ancient door lock, Medieval key, ancient artifacts Los Angeles
Ancient Roman key ring, 2nd-3rd century AD. 33 mm long, US size 5 1/2. Nice olive-green patina. Uncleaned, as found. Wearable! #9098: $125 SOLD

Ancient Roman key ring, 2nd-3rd century AD. Measures 32 mm long, US size 5. Nice olive-green patina. #9110: $95 SOLD

Ancient Roman bronze key. 2nd - 5th century AD. Beautiful blue-green patina! Measures 44 mm long. Deep-cut details! #9067-2: SOLD

Roman bronze key ring, 1st-3rd century AD. A superb piece! Sturdy construction, with deep-cut grooves. Glossy green to copper patina. 38 mm long. US ring size 4 3/4 - 5. #6784: $175 SOLD

Fascinating piece! Roman hairpin made with a key at the end. 1st-4th century AD. What a creative way to take one's important key on the go! Bronze, this piece measures 130 mm (5 1/8 inches) with great light green patina and delicate incised features. key#0395: $175 SOLD

Ancient Roman Door Lock-Bolt. 4th - 5th century AD.
Recovered from an ancient Roman settlement in Thrace/Macedonia, near the Black Sea. Still moves but remains in locked position. So well preserved that the correct key, probably lost to antiquity, would still open it. Massive. 15 cm (6 inches) wide, heavy iron construction. Extremely rare in this state of preservation.
SOLD
Absolutely massive Roman iron key, c. 1st-3rd century AD. Definitely the largest ancient key I have ever seen. With two lInks of chain, measures 185 mm (7 1/4") long, "head" of key measures 2 1/4 x 2 3/4". Outstanding! #271024: $299 SOLD

Ancient Rome, 2nd-5th century AD. Fantastic bronze key-ring! For lack of pockets in their togas, the ancients often wore keys to important boxes, etc on their fingers. US size 6 1/2, measures 31 mm top to bottom. Wearable! #272105x2: $250 SOLD

Ancient Roman bronze key. 2nd - 5th century AD. Intact with deep-cut grooves and nice olive-green patina. 54 mm (2 1/8") long. #87002: $150 SOLD

Ancient Roman bronze key. 2nd - 5th century AD. Neat piece, uncleaned, as found. Measures 5 cm (2 inches) long. #7088: $125
SOLD


Ancient Roman bronze key. 2nd - 5th century AD. Outstanding example with lustrous chocolate to olive-green patina and sharp, incised details. Measures 70 mm (2 3/4 inches) long and is thick and heavy! #9058: $155 SOLD

Ancient Roman key ring, 2nd-3rd century AD. A beauty! 37 mm long, wearable US size 9 1/4. Very cool! #9081-1: 135 SOLD

Roman bronze key ring, 1st-3rd century AD. A very beautiful specimen. Rudimentary 7-point ridge design (only 5 ridges intact now... maybe that's why the original owner discarded it!) Measures 35 mm (1 3/8 inches) long. Around ring size US 4 1/2 but pretty crusty and generally unwearable. Key ring #1390: $95 SOLD

Roman bronze key ring, 1st-3rd century AD. A superb piece! Sturdy construction, with deep-cut grooves. Glossy green to copper patina. 38 mm long. US ring size 4 3/4 - 5. #6784: $175 SOLD

Roman bronze key ring, 1st-3rd century AD. Amazing, huge piece! Extremely deep-cut etails. Measures 30 mm. Around a US ring size 3 1/2. #6732x2: $199 SOLD

Ancient Rome. 2nd-5th century AD. Bronze long key. Ring end broken in antiquity. From an excavation in Thrace. 70 mm (over 2 3/4 inches) long! #899: $95 SOLD

Large ancient Roman bronze key. 2nd - 4th century AD. Big and chunky with deep-cut grooves. Light green to brown patina. Measures 87 mm (3 3/8") long! #6361: $145 SOLD

Byzantine / Medieval small bronze chest key. c. 900-1100 AD. A very cute little piece! Measures 26 mm (just over 1 inch) long! Nice light green to copper patina. #6762: $95 SOLD

Ancient Roman bronze key. 2nd - 5th century AD. Outstanding example with lustrous silvery-black patina and sharp, incised details. Intact! Measures 63 mm (2 1/2"). #87001: $199 SOLD
Ancient Rome, c. 1st-3rd century AD. Great bronze key-ring. Elaborate 8-point device on a decorated, extended shaft. 34 mm (1 5/8" and chunky! About a US ring size 5 1/2. Glossy green patina. #AR2053: $150
SOLD
Ancient Roman bronze key. 2nd - 5th century AD. Beautiful emerald-green patina. A gorgeous piece, not well illustrated in this photo. Measures 80 mm (3 1/4 inches) long. #9090-2: $135 SOLD


Ancient Roman key ring, 2nd-3rd century AD. Near-perfect state of preservation! Possibly the nicest I've had! Extremely deep-cut ridges in an ornate configuration. Nice light green to copper patina. 36 mm long, US ring size 9. Excellent! #1986x2: $210 SOLD

Byzantine / Medieval bronze key. c. 900-1100 AD. Beautiful glossy green patina. Very simple construction with extended piece behind the hole for leverage during use. 57 mm (2 1/4") long. #6765: SOLD

Late Roman / Byzantine bronze key, c. 500-800 AD. A gorgeous, large piece. Simple design with three prongs, the lowest one with a series of vertical ridges. Great green patina! 68 mm (2 5/8") long. #6720: $199 SOLD

Roman bronze key ring, 1st-3rd century AD. A superb piece! Sturdy construction, with deep-cut grooves. Glossy green to copper patina. 38 mm long. US ring size 4 3/4 - 5. #6784: $175 SOLD

Ancient Roman bronze key. 2nd - 5th century AD. A beautiful and large example. Nicely etched designs, deep-cut grooves on the head. Big 77 mm (3 inches) and heavy. A beauty! #18702: $199 SOLD

Ancient Roman bronze key. 2nd - 5th century AD. Great green to light brown patina. Etched markings on body, end bent slightly back. Interesting type! 67 mm (2 5/8") long. #6215: $150 SOLD

Roman bronze key ring, 1st-3rd century AD. Amazing, huge piece! Extremely deep-cut etails. Measures 30 mm. Around a US ring size 3 1/2. #6732x2: $199 SOLD


Ancient Rome, c. 2nd-3rd century AD. A fabulous iron key-ring. Hinged at the loop so the key pivots freely, allowing it to lay against the top of the finger when not in use. Amazing state of preservation for iron! Hinge pin a bit thin; I would not recommend wearing it. 40 mm (1 5/8") total length. #A110212: $299 SOLD

Roman bronze key ring, 1st-3rd century AD. An excellent example, in near perfect state of preservation. Light green patina. 26 mm long. US ring size 5. #6751x2: $135 SOLD

Great Roman bronze key ring, 1st-3rd century AD. Sharp detail with extra "grip" details on band, lovely reddish-brown patina. 28 mm long, ring US size 3.75. #78190x2: $150 SOLD


Roman bronze key ring, 1st-3rd century AD. Great condition with light green patina, a couple small scuffed areas of bronze showing throuth. 27 mm long, ring US size 5.5. #78189: $125 SOLD

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