Looking for Antique or Obsolete Keys
When you think about it, the use of any type of physical keys in our lives is slowly becoming obsolete as keys are being replaced by electronic keys, key cards, or combination locks. Metal keys for door knobs, lock boxes, suitcases, clocks, and toys are not secure enough for the sophisticated locks that most of us now use in business and at home.
However, if you are a collector of vintage and antique keys, or you use skeleton keys in your found object jewelry, or you have an antique dresser that is missing a key, there are many reputable vintage and antique sellers on Etsy that have antique keys that you can buy. For a collector of authentic antique vintage keys, Etsy is a treasure trove of genuine metal keys from various decade eras.
While doing research for this article, I found a fascinating collection of antique keys in categories that I hadn't originally thought about looking in. For instance, are you old enough to remember toys that had a separate wind up keys? There are also numerous old skeleton keys, clock keys, and even antique typewriter keys that you can buy on Etsy.
You can also find antique padlocks, and padlock keys. Antique keys needed to be made from a metal hard enough to withstand wear and tear like steel, or brass.
Vintage Skeleton Keys
Skeleton keys were used for many years for just about everything, but most especially doors, lockboxes, and furniture.
Antique skeleton keys are fascinating in design, and quite beautiful in shape. They are unique collectibles, and also make interesting additions to found object jewelry. Skeleton keys can be identified by size, shape, and manufacturer when you search for what you are looking for on Etsy, and they are not very costly to purchase.
Vintage Brass Keys
Buying Vintage Keys
Many antique and vintage keys can be purchased in groups or lots. Some of the lots are mixed types of keys, while others are groups of the same type of antique key like clock wind up keys.
You can also find lots of safe keys, skeleton keys, door keys, or toy wind up keys.
Another whole type of key to collect is old typewriter keys. For those of you who are not old enough to have used a typewriter in your lifetime, old antique typewriters had very unique keys that were originally made of metal.
Antique typewriter keys are fascinating to collect and have been made into some unique one of a kind jewelry. Antique typewriter keys can be searched on Etsy by manufacturer like Corona or Royal, or color usually black or white, or whether they had glass tops. Typewriter keys are usually sold in sets or lots of the entire alphabet or keyboard.
Vintage Typewriter Keys
Antique Wind Up Keys
Once upon a time mechanical toys, music boxes, and clocks were activated by wind up keys, long before the time of batteries or electronics. These wind up keys are obsolete now, unless you collect antique wind up toys, antique music boxes, or antique clocks.
These wind up keys were usually made of brass or steel and about one inch in height. Toy wind up keys are very collectible and unique looking, making great pendants for necklaces or drops for earrings.