Let’s talk Escutcheons

Hi all!

What, you ask, is an escutcheon?  Glad you asked.

An escutcheon is the metal piece usually surrounding a key hole or door handle.  Its primary purpose is to protect the wood from getting damaged from repeated use. Escutcheons can also be decorative elements.

On our boxes the escutcheons are just little rings surrounding the key holes.  They are not connected to the box or the interior lock and, therefore, can be removed with a little effort and are sometimes missing as a result.

Escutcheons first appear on our boxes on Tall Fluted w/ Feet boxes dating as early as 1936. Prior to escutcheons and locksets, the boxes had hasps and hooks like this…

Tall Clasp (TC)

This hasp and hook came with a cute little paddle lock and key and appeared on Tall Hasp w/ Feet (THF) as seen above as well as Tall Hasp w/ Bun Feet (THBF) and Large Hasp w/Feet (LHF).

OK, back to escutcheons….All  TFF have small escutcheons as seen here…

img_3813

Tall Fluted (TF)

Additionally, early Tall (T) boxes – especially those with the double line logo – also have smaller escutcheons.  At some point the key hole and escutcheons got bigger like this…

img_3815 growing from a diameter of 3/8″ to just around 15/32″.  All newer Tall boxes and all Short variations have the larger key hole and escutcheon.  And, just to add to the fun, I have found escutcheons in chrome, black, satin, gold, and grey as well as even larger chrome and gold ones on some of the very newest boxes.  I’ll spare you all the photos – trust me OK?  Obviously patination may be the reason for some color variations.  This little detail gives me another thing to look for and track as the chronology story unfolds.

How much fun are we having?!

Until next time…

Chad

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