Vintage Tuareg lock and key - rare
A striking vintage Tuareg lock made of silver with copper and brass decorative work and engraved patterning. It comes with an equally ornate key to unlock the traditional mechanism. A beautiful and unique collector’s item.
Second half 20th century
Silver, brass & copper
9.5 cm (h) x 13.0 cm (w) x 4.0 cm (d)
Tuareg people use a lock (tanast) and key (asrou) to secure their large leather bags containing personal possessions whilst travelling in the desert regions. These locks are often large and cumbersome with very intricate mechanisms and more than one key is needed to unlock them. In fact, more complex mechanisms need 3 or 4 keys to be used in sequence in order to gain access. They are made by artisans specialising in this craft using silver, metal, copper, brass or aluminium and are highly decorative, often featuring engraved work. The vintage locks in our collection are very rare and of high quality and aesthetically pleasing.