we're all of us looking for the key.” ~Alan Bennett
"Someone's sweet, old tasteful Granny died..." That was a comment that I saw on Facebook posted in response to a photo of Limoge plates that someone purchased at a Goodwill. I guess only tasteful little old ladies had pretty things? But, why does it not compute that the antique/vintage world is merely recycling? The same day that post showed up Country Living had a list of things to buy at thrift stores or yard sale: Cast iron, Solid wood furniture, Tools, Jewelry, Kids' toys, Picture frames, Leather bags, Plates, glasses and silverware. The responses to that were even better..."Seriously ?!?!?! Not a chance! Sometimes other people's junk is just that JUNK" and "Less is more and stuff is often just stuff"...and, of course, the show Hoarders that focused on the extremes (as reality TV loves to do), but it scares collectors: "Seriously, if I ALWAYS snapped up those things, I'd have a very real hoarding issue on my hands."
So what is the key to this business? Who knows? In that spirit then, let's just look at keys--and they don't take up much room either! (Hey! I can transition--actually I had a customer searching for keys to collect and that was the firestarter here!) Keys and locks go back to ancient Babylon and Egypt over 6000 years ago. They were wooden with small pins, and by using wooden toothbrush-shaped keys, Egyptians could lift those small pins and unlock the blot. Sadly, this design had several disadvantages – both lock and key were made from wood (material that is very susceptible to external brute-force attacks) and the key itself was very bulky and heavy. The oldest examples of these ancient locks were found in ruins of the Assyrian palace of Khorasabad, in a biblical city of Nineveh dating to 704 BC.
I can't help but wonder what locks all these keys opened...the stories they could tell...and why would someone keep a broken key ? I bet that tale is a good one!