Friday, July 29, 2011

Favorite French Things Friday - Old French Clés (Keys)

A 1922 Engraving of French Skeleton Keys

Some of my decorative French furniture keys.

Old French Keys on Vintage French Grain Sack

I have a "thing" for old keys and search for them whenever I'm treasure hunting. I love old furniture skeleton keys, especially beautiful old, ornate French skeleton keys. When I hold them I wonder how many hands have firmly gripped them,  for what furniture they were made, and what secrets they've protected. I can see them jutting out of the key opening of a French armoire with a beautiful tassel hanging proudly from the end.

Many of us can remember Grandma's old dresser or Grandpa's roll top desk with the skeleton key sticking out of the keyhole. Antique furniture locks and keys were used to protect the most important family documents, Birth Certificates, Deeds, Wills and Diplomas. 

As I was looking at my little collection of keys this morning, it came to mind how we used to use locks and keys to keep things in and today we use them to keep things out.  At the same time that Grandpa's roll top desk was locked, with the key jutting out from the lock for all to see, chances are the front door was unlocked.

I started thinking of my own childhood and I  can't remember ever having a key to our house. My Mom and Dad both worked and I remember the front and back doors always being unlocked. Maybe they just knew that with 9 people running in and out the door would always be swinging anyway! As I sit here I can hear the crackling of the old radio and the Baltimore Orioles playing baseball and my father yelling out "Quit slamming that screen door!" I can see us hot and sweaty kids playing outside and always running in and out of the house. We'd run in to get a drink of water or a glass of sweet tea, letting the screen door slam behind us.  

I'm thinking I'd love to play a game of Freeze Tag again, and even more, hear my Father yelling at me to quit slamming that darn door.

Have a great weekend. Spend some time with those you love.

Au revoir, Mitty

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