This book covers the history of the key from the Middle Ages to 1900. The glorious keys evolved over these years until, with the spread of new manufacturing processes available with the coming of the Industrial Revolution, its demise.
After a career in the London Stock Exchange, William Wallace entered the antiques trade and then the jewellery business. A chance encounter with an abandoned door in southwestern France sparked his interest in keys. He has now been an ardent collector of antique keys (a cagophilist) for more than thirty-five years during which time he has become accepted as an authority on the subject, well known to museums and collectors in Britain and overseas.