Vintage Tuareg lock with keys - very large and rare
A very large and heavy silver Tuareg lock with exquisite detailed engraved patterning and motifs together with three keys for unlocking the traditional mechanism and a chain. This really is a stunning item, an amazing collector’s piece.
Second half 20th century
18.5 cm (h) x 23.0 cm (w) x 3.2 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.