We have many years experience of dealing with the restoration and sale of old door locks,and sell only genuine original reclaimed old door locks, we carry no reproductions.
Our old door locks are mainly of original British manufacture,whether hand made in the Georgian era or mass produced from the Victorian period onwards.
You can be sure of genuine antique old door locks to suit and fit in with your period restoration.
These old door locks are now scarce but we scour the country for the best examples to restore.
Dealing in all antique periods,mainly from the Georgian period right through to the 1930′s,The Victorian Ironmonger is one of the very few UK sites with a range of genuine reclaimed old door locks available to buy online.
Unfortunately original reclaimed old door locks can not be got,or made to order,although we usually have a good range of restored antique locks in stock,from the simple Georgian or Victorian rim latch to the larger front door and church type oak cased ones.
Lock can be a misleading term used generically to describe both locks and rim latches.
There are two basic types,the ‘mortice lock’ (which fits into a pocket in the door edge with only the faceplate visible) or the ‘rim’ (surface mounted to the door face,the whole lock being visible,this is usually on the side of the door opening towards you)
1. Deadlocks – with key operated bolt only – no latch to hold the door closed when not locked.
2a. As 2 above but with the addition of a sliding privacy bolt – the door can be locked from inside – usually found on bedroom and bathroom doors.
3. Lockable Rim Latch – a combination of types 1 & 2 above.
3a. As 3 above but with the addition of a sliding privacy bolt – the door can be locked from inside without the key.
4. Night Rim Latch or Front Door Lock – with an internal slide or turn knob to operate a combined latch/bolt – access from outside by key only - bolt/latch can be held in the open or closed position by a sliding snib (the action of a modern Yale type lock).
We tend to specialise in surface mounted rim type old door locks,these can be cased in either wrought iron (earlier examples),cast iron,steel,brass or wood (usually oak).
Iron cased versions would always be found in the working class terraces and later cottages.The better class of house often had a large iron lock for the front door, smaller good quality lockable rim latches for the main ground floor rooms and small rim latches with privacy bolts for the first floor.
This order of “show” for old door locks was particulary emphasized in the grander Georgian or Victorian properties with brass cased locks to the ground floor,lockable rim latches to the first floor and the most basic rim or plate latch for the servants quarters.
Old door locks of the Georgian period are our favourites,being entirely hand made with superb workmanship hidden away in the case.These old door locks rarely,if ever,carry any clue as to their maker (probally one of hundreds of small backyard workshops around Wolverhampton).The one thing they do carry is the pride and craftsmanship of the hand that made them – the only signature necessary!
Old door locks saw the advent of mass production during the Victorian era.Many of them now carrying makers labels with names such as:-
Carpenter,Chubb,Bissell,Bramah,Tonks,Wing & Webb amongst others,and boasting innovations like ‘cradle action’,’palace motion’,’improved steel case’ as well as numerous patents applied for.
Most of these later old door locks will have brass fittings for quietness and ease of operation.
All of the old door locks we supply are stripped,inspected and restored by us with replacement parts made or adapted as necessary.
We also try to supply original keys to suit the period of the lock as far as possible,for this reason usually just one key per lock is supplied.
Our old door locks are therefore supplied fully working and complete with keeps ready to fit.