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Apr 25 2016

Interesting Antique Lock

Category: Historical,Locks & KeysLori @ 10:32 am Comments (33)

Bill Elliott sent me these photos this morning.  There’s something interesting about this lock that he and I have not seen before.  Can you figure it out?

Antique Lock Exterior   Antique Lock Edge   Antique Lock Knobs

33 Responses to “Interesting Antique Lock”

  1. lach says:

    A shot in the dark but is it a reversible entry push button locking? It has that little tab on the door edge and push buttons on both sides making that the only thing I can think of.

  2. Fixentoo says:

    Is there separate key holes on each side to go with each push button?

    • Lori says:

      I’m not sure about the key holes, but you’re on the right track…it’s something to do with the double push buttons!

      – Lori

  3. Tom Breese says:

    Just a guess: btm photo is at an exterior space, and the dbl-keyhole close-up shows only one hole (the btm one) ready accept a key; we don’t have a close-up of the opposite side, but I’m guessing the upper keyhole is active that side. I’m gonna guess, then, that it’s a communicating lock of some sort for maybe a shared patio or balcony in a hotel or guest house — the push buttons allow for temporary privacy by the guests, and presumably the management or landlord can lock off from either side by key which operates the deadbolt. Just a guess…really curious now!

  4. Rob says:

    Possible pass through door between two hotel rooms? “Back in the day.”

  5. Lee Francisco says:

    Push button on a mortise lock?

  6. Kevin B. says:

    My guess is that you push the buttons to retract the latch, instead of turning the knobs.

  7. Leo says:

    It looks to me like privacy (push buttons) on both sides and if I’m not mistaken there is a deadbolt.

  8. Daniel Davis says:

    My theory is that it is not installed to its intended use.

    For starters one keyhole isn’t drilled through to be able to retract the deadbolt. So I think the exterior knob was salvaged from another lockset to replace a damaged one. Unless…

    The push buttons extends the deadbolt so you don’t have to use a key to do such(from inside or outside). The button on door edge is to lock the handle from retracting latch bolt and the available keyhole unlocks latch bolt and deadbolt? Or it only unlocks from the inside?

    Always free for egress?

  9. Marcus Muirhead says:

    Judging from the intricate, ornate relief work, I would have thought this lock was produced before pushbuttons were in the knob/s, which I thought originated with Walter Schlage’s early cylindrical locksets. I see the two keyholes, but the upper keyhole isn’t cut out behind the escutcheon (at least on the exterior side). Finally, I’ve never seen pushbuttons on both sides of a lockset… at least not that I can recall.

  10. Marcus Muirhead says:

    Wait! Can this be for an adjoining door between two rooms? Either side can lock the door to prevent entry, one side uses the upper keyhole, the other side uses the lower?

  11. Kevin Knippa says:

    In the photo it looks like this lock is on an exterior door. Is it possible this lock used to be on a communicating door? Is the upper keyhole open on the interior side, with the lower keyhole on the outer side?

  12. Daniel Poehler says:

    I’m guessing but the artwork looks German. Any clues as to where it was made and by whom?

    • Lori says:

      No, we don’t know much about it except that it was in an antique store and is now on the door of a home in New Hampshire.

      – Lori

  13. Ryan Krakowsky says:

    pushing the button retracts the latch

  14. Ken Einselen says:

    Is the door lockable in the closed position from either doorknob?
    The tab activates or de-activates the push buttons.

  15. Mike Rodriguez says:

    Non handed mortise lock can be locked from either side by push button; unlocked with key only?

  16. Bryan says:

    Does each push button lock the opposite side?

  17. Joe Folcarelli says:

    The push buttons retract the latch. The knobs are stationary.

    • Lori says:

      You’re right, Joe! How did you know?

      – Lori

      • Joe Folcarelli says:

        We owned a house in Providence, RI when we were first married that had interior and exterior doors with these locks, the interior doors had porcelain knobs and plain escutcheons. I have seen them in other houses in the area, mostly 1920’s vintage. I can tell you they are interesting to work on as the button has to be unscrewed to dismantle the lock.

        • T.J. Gottwalt says:

          Amazing Joe! Thanks for sharing.

          • Joe Folcarelli says:

            I should also tell that we lived in that house for fifteen years and I always had to let my friends and family out… they never got used to the pushbutton locks. The locks were also one of the reasons we bought the house in the first place.

  18. Rich says:

    My guess in addition to the above info, is the lower key operates the deadbolt from either side and is independent from the upper part of the lock. Any old two key hole mortise models I have seen work this way. The upper keyhole would retract the latch if needed. The slide cam on the edge would be the same as the buttons or toggle on a newer lock and would prevent one or both knob buttons from operating to retract the latch. Not a very high security model as there is no warding to the keyhole. Lock is almost as old as me.

  19. Bob says:

    Bill Elliott still specifies this lock!

  20. Ryan Krakowsky says:

    i saw one years ago at a shop i used to work at in providence.

  21. STEVE says:

    I actually have one of these in my personal collection and had it restored. I have it packed away as I moved a short time ago and will take a couple pictures. I got these in the early 1991-92 time frame in an old building being converted and took a box of these.

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