17th century
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General Description

Since the Renaissance, keys as well as locks have often been regarded as works of art. The French architect Jacques Androuet Ducereau, who died c. 1585, was the first to publish designs for keys. The art of the locksmith reached its height in France during the first half of the 17th century under King Louis XIII who, in his teens, enjoyed working at the smith's forge and bench. This key was probably chiseled from cold iron.

Adapted from

Dallas Museum of Art, The Wendy and Emery Reves Collection (Dallas, Texas: Dallas Museum of Art, 1985), 178.