Also be sure to visit:

My friend's website:

Nov 26, 2008

Reg'd US Mail Lock - Innards

Here is an interesting photo of a Registered Mail Lock that has been opened to expose the enclosed counter mechanism.

This is an antique U.S. Mail lock that was in the box that was sealed in 1939 and appears to have been taken apart to understand the working parts of the lock. - eBay
this item went for the opening bid of $24.99 (Plus $6 shipping).


Nov 25, 2008

TOWER BEAN handcuffs

Her is a nice set of Bean handcuffs which were masterfully polished.

nice polished set of old TOWER BEAN handcuffs complete with a nice WORKING KEY.... cuffs open & close properly as well as the lock buttons work good. - eBay
Some people stress that antiques should not be cleaned or polished, other than to remove dirt or rust. This set was polished new. It certainly didn't hurt the price as they sold for $250 (Plus $9.50 shipping). Then again, not everyone can polish a set of handcuffs this well.


Nov 24, 2008


Antique keys are great because often they are a work of art all on their own. We have all seen old warded keys, but most of us have probably not seen ones like this:

These auction online is for Antique french key with a rhombus hollow pipe, from 18th century. The key has a little hole on the shank

Measure 7,5" long 19 cm - eBay

This key has a 'buy it now' price of $200 (Plus $3.95 for shipping)


Nov 21, 2008

Large Antique Combination Lock

This is a real interesting old combination padlock:

3 1/2" tall. Good condition. Steel body, brass wheels. While the combination can be changed by disassembling the lock and rearranging the wheels, the number on each wheel cannot be changed so there are only 3 possible combinations. With combo. - eBay
I would like to think that this lock when new came with additional wheels to increase the possible combinations from just three for each lock.

This combination padlock sold for $129.50 (Plus $6.95 shipping). That is a real decent price for an unassuming lock. 


Nov 20, 2008


This is a great looking set of 'Tower' handcuffs.

I always thought that the pieces of the bow that stick out are just too much of a risk for getting someone hurt, or putting holes in the bedroom mattress, or in the door, or the carpet....

This set sold for $149.50 (Plus $7 shipping)


Nov 19, 2008


Here is another great antique warded key.

These auction online is for Antique french key with a large size from 1900's. Measure 5,5" long 14 cm - eBay

The seller of this key has many more old keys for sale.

Imagine needing to get a spare key made up for this! It has a buy it now price of $190 (Plus $3.95 shipping) So far no buyer.


Nov 18, 2008

Rare Old Chinese Copper Thumb Handcuff

This is a sort of nice set of thumbcuffs:

Rare Kind 19c copper police thumb cuff ,The word means"Sichuan" province police supervise made .Weight :86g - eBay
I am not sure where they get 19th century and also mentioned in the listing is:
Age: 1900-1940
That would be 20th century. It claims to be an original and not a copy and it very well might be since eBay is not full of listings for more copies. However, the key at least is not original. And I doubt the rest is much older than the key.

This was listed with a 'buy it now' price of $80 (and $8 shipping) but it did not sell.

I still don't have any thumbcuffs but I think I will just look for a high quality new set and stay away from anything like this, unless I want something to hang on the wall. After all, who is to say that things will open up when you want them to.

Nov 17, 2008


A second set of Marlin Bottleneck handcuffs sold recently.

Offered for sale today are a pair antique handcuffs manufactured by the Marlin Firearms Company, New Haven, Connecticut.

These magnificent and extremely rare handcuffs were manufactured by the Marlin Firearms Company which were patented by Robert H. Daley.

The handcuffs feature a double ratchet system that was very difficult to open without the key. They are fully functional and include the original key.

These handcuffs were by lawmen in the late 1890's through the early 1910's. They show the marks of honest use and the effects of an unknown number of arrests.

The handcuffs are steel with nickel plating. About 80% to 85% of the original finish is left (which is very rare to find). The surface finish has been left in it's original state (rather than buffed off) in order to maintain its character and collectible value. - eBay
This pair sold for $381.50 (Plus $15 shipping) That is much more than the last pair profiled here which went for $300. Then again it appears to be in much better condition.


Antique W. V. Adams Handcuffs

This is a really neat pair of antique handcuffs. I like how the cuff bows are square metal instead of rounded:

Up for bid is an original pair of W.V. Adams handcuffs patented June 17, 1862. These handcuffs are in good condition with very little ware of the nickle plating. All joints move freely and both locks work. Comes with one none original key. Both cuffs are stamped Pat. June 17, 1862. These Adams handcuffs were the first adjustable ratchets that could bind wrists tightly or loosely. Comes with a copy of the original patent number 35576. - eBay
Handcuffs like these do not come up on eBay all that often. This pair sold for $330.01 (Plus $5 shipping). That's a decent price yet still very affordable. Kind of.


Nov 7, 2008

1880 ROMER LEG IRONS - (Owned by Houdini)

Antique leg irons are neat. Romers are my new favorite:

A bonus is that these leg irons were owned by the legend Harry Houdini himself:
TRUE DOCUMENTED POP RENO - BRINDAMOUR --- HOUDINI set of rare patented in 1880 ROMER LEG IRONS complete with a nice working key... the leg cuffs both work great & the condition of the ROMER leg irons is very very nice...... WITHOUT any connection to anyone ROMER leg irons are highly rare & much sought after & have a market value of over $1,500..... my reserve is not a whole lot more for having a DOCUMENTED owned item.........this ROMER leg iron was received by my late GREAT father in law PRYNCE WHEELER (now deceased ) in 1963 from the GREAT RENO who got the leg iron from the FAMOUS ESCAPE ARTIST preforming BEFORE & DURING HOUDINI's time..... YES, 1963 from the GREAT POP RENO ( FRANK X. RENAUD ) now deceased of SOUTHBRIDGE, MA.......... RENO was born in 1890, worked in vaudeville, magic, & escapology..... POP RENO was billed as THE HANDCUFF KING & preformed many escapes that he learned on his own as well as escapes that he learned from HOUDINI & BRINDAMOUR themselves....... the buyer of this RARE DOCUMENTED - BRINDAMOUR - POP RENO owned item will receive from me -- the seller - the SIGNED statement from POP RENO dated in 1963 and a signed COA from me stating that my father in law PRYNCE WHEELER acquired the ROMER leg iron from POP RENO complete with a photo of the JUDD leg iron & a description of the leg irons ALL on the COA etc etc.... - eBay
These leg irons had a 'buy it now' price of $2,850 (Plus $15 shipping) The high bid was $1,604 but did not meet the reserve price. As of this point is has yet to be re-listed.


Nov 6, 2008

Old Brass Combination Padlock Patented Dec. 7, 1869

Here is a very old and rare brass combination padlock:

This is a large heavy brass combination lock stamped on one end- Pat. Jan. 7, 68 and Dec.. 7, 69. There is no manufacturer of name that I can find on it. It has 4 rings with numbers plus a 5th ring also turns. The end with the patent dates is loose and tries to turn plus the end where the hasp fits also turns. The hasp is not locked in and the pin is closed, but I don't know the combination. I have seen these called Puzzle locks and Ring padlocks. The lock has some ver-di-gris and numerous dings and use marks, but is good and solid. I tried removing a little of the ver-di-gris from the patent dates so I could read them, otherwise it hasn't been cleaned and is just as it was found. The lock barrel measures about 3 1/8 inches long and it is about the same in height. - eBay
Too bad that the lock is not fully functioning or at least not with a known combination.

Despite not having a combination, this lock sold for $415 (Plus $6.25 in shipping)


Nov 5, 2008

Ames Sword Padlock - Smallest Made by Ames

Another great sturdily-made miniature lock.

Very small in fact TINY 1880's Ames Sword padlock. This is the smallest and hardest to find lock in this style. This is a three lever lock as you can tell in the picture with it unlocked. It is extremely uncommon to find such a tiny lock with three levers. Also desirable is the fact it was made by Ames Sword company who also produced fine swords during the Civil War. This was a very finely made padlock and would have cost much more than the usual one lever heart shaped padlocks of the time period this was made. Condition is excellent as you can see and it has a lovely brown patina. It comes with one original key which unlocks the padlock fine. The shackle is spring loaded, and self locking which adds to the uniqueness of this lock. I cannot imagine stuffing all these features into such a small padlock. 

Probably used on a document or lock box.

This size padlock rarely comes up for auction so do not miss your chance to own this excellent miniature with it's original unusual key!

The size is 1 3/16 inch tall, 7/8 inch across, and under 1/4 inch at thickest. The tiny key is a hair over 1/2 inch long not including the swivel ring. The ring added makes the key slightly over 3/4 inch long.

If this does not sell I will keep it. - eBay
This lock was listed with a 'Buy it Now' price of $155 (Plus $2.25 shipping) but the listing was pulled due to a pricing error. No clue if the lock was ever re-listed


Nov 4, 2008

Small Brass Chubb Padlock

This is a great looking lock. Too bad it does not have a key to go with it.

I have here a nice small Vintage Chubb padlock 1"3/4 long, could be Edwardian inscribed on lock Chubb,s Detsotor Queen Victoria Rd London makers to His Majesty, no key good condition - eBay
This lock went for $68.62 (Plus $6 shipping)


Nov 3, 2008

Antique Chinese Police Handcuff (Fake?)

I have serious doubts on these being antique handcuffs given the time period these claim to come from:

Old chinese police handcuff ,The handcuff year about 1850-1900.With insurance is rare. The key is lost. Age: 1850-1899 - eBay
These were clearly copies of a western-style handcuff that made it to china. I do not think that handcuffs from the late 1800's looked like this. Not only that, but they seems to be doubling locking handcuffs. That would be extremely rare from that time, if ever available on any handcuffs at the time.

They are listed with a 'buy it now' price of $135 (Plus $15 shipping). That is probably the last givaway that these are not as old as claimed as if they were that old they would probably be selling for more. Instead, this pair languished on eBay, unsold.