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Jun 20, 2011

1880s US Registered Mail lock Treasury Houdini T-series

Here is a great mail seal padlock. Locks with counters are some of the most interesting.

This US Registered Mail lock has a cast case, shackle collar, and rotating shackle made of architectural bronze. It is circa 1880s but continued in usage through the 1920s, being repaired when necessary. Although ''rotary'' locks have been occasionally listed on eBay being described as the style selected by Harry Houdini for his renowned mail bag escape trick, prop photos reveal that he used this earlier style of lock that opened with a flat key that he concealed within his cheek. The obsolete flat-style key was assigned to the Treasury Department. Although registered mail shipments passed through the postal system with this lock, Post Office Department employees could not open those pouches with their standard-issue keys. Only U.S. Treasury personnel were assigned keys to unlock shipments of currency and coin.

This lock is sold with a professionally-fitted reproduction key that operates the lock and is in excellent condition. There is a small bronze flap covering the rotary numbers ''in the window'' that is currently 0446, meaning it had been opened 446 times. The lock serial number is T 954 and is ex-Mundy collection. All features of the lock are clear and distinct, even though the back view is fuzzy around the edges because used a camera which doesn't have much depth of field for close-up snapshots. - eBay (29 May 2011)

This padlock had a high bid of $362.70 (Plus $8 Shipping).

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