One of my favorite photos from The Find: The Housing Works book of Decorating With Thrift Shop Treasures, Flea Market Objects, and Vintage Details is of a tin tray holding a collection of rusty skeleton keys discovered at the Alameda Point Antiques and Collectibles Faire. Today, the platter of of keys I'm sharing are ones I found in November at Britanski Trg's flea market in Zagreb, Croatia, demonstrating that wherever you go in the vintage and thrift world, you'll always find the familiar at the most unexpected moment.
Even if you've only attended a couple of flea markets, you've seen the plentiful population of old skeleton keys lying here and there, instantly opening all kinds of thoughts about what they could symbolize, how they might be reused and what they've seen in their lives. Is that mismatched jumble of keys made up of ones that strayed from their owners? Could they be duplicates that got stashed in an attic or cellar? Or were they rendered useless by new locks or entire door replacements?
I also start to think about all those familiar sayings that make use of the word "key: "
"The key to success;" "The key to the future;" or "The key to my heart." And then I imagine uses for a patina-enriched skeleton key: a hanging door knob ornament; a piece of jewelry; a mounted collection framed as wall décor; or even a whimsical potted plant accessory.
I find old keys alluring for the mystery they evoke. What might they have witnessed while lodged in an old door lock? Whose hands have turned them? And where have they been hiding out over the past several years?
As for my house keys, they seem to have a life of their own, appearing in the most unlikely places other than where I believe I left them.
What do old keys make you think of?
The Elegant Thrifter
Always Frugal, Always Fabulous!
On another note: Remember the amazing Christmas fiesta I shared with you last week? Check out here a gallery of more photos of fabulosity by one if the party guests.