The first is a most intriguing Chinese lock, probably bronze. It is, in concept, very similar to modern day locks for luggage. This example appears to have some age. There are five rotating barrels, each with four Chinese characters. I do not currently have the secret code. Once this is identified the lock will release the solid metal bar. Finding the code would be a challenge and could give hours of enjoyment to those whole love puzzles! The two ends of the larger barrel have decorative motifs of a Foo dog. The overall condition is very good for age. The second is of brass. This consists of the lock and a key. When the key is in position, the lock can be opened to reveal quite an intricate mechanism. When the lock is closed, the key can then be removed and worn hanging at the waist. At one end of the lock the shaped keyhole can be viewed, which matches the shaped end of one of the keys. There is a probable maker’s mark at the other end of the lock. These two different Chinese locks would be interesting additions to an appropriate chest or carrying case, for example, the special cases that were made for a Mandarin’s gown and hat. Maximum length puzzle lock 3.25 ins (8.2cm) x 1.5 ins (3.6cm). Combined weight 346 grams.
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