This unusual 15k gold brooch dates to the mid-19th Century, and holds a special kind of key within. The Bramah lock was invented by Joseph Bramah in 1784, and features a cylindrical key design with five shafts at the end. It is now regarded as the first "high security" locking system. Indeed, Bramah's company had a Challenge Lock installed in the window of their London shop, with the following message: "The artist who can make an instrument that will pick or open this lock shall receive 200 guineas the moment it is produced." By the 19th Century, the Bramah lock was a feature of some jewellery boxes, and the owner could, ingeniously, have the key concealed in a piece of jewellery that was worn daily.
2.5 x 2.1cm (width by height) - Key: 1.5cm long
No marks present, tests as 15k gold
Very good, with lovely antique patina. There is some light tarnish to the key, which is not made of gold
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Fine English Antique and Vintage Jewellery
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