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The Lure of the Key: Knowledge Acquired from Some Thirty-Five Years Collecting Hardcover – February 15, 2017
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As with other antiques, there is a lore going with keys and a history too. Wallace brings these in along with pointing out as seen in accompanying color photographs the distinctive features of a particular key and what is representative about it as to its era. In many cases too, he gives information on a historical individual, royalty, or event or circumstance a key is identified with. While most take keys for granted and regard them as common utilitarian items, as the author goes into, keys of interest to collectors, antique aficionados, curators, and such are ornate and distinctive for what they represent or their symbolism. Like a "key to the city," these keys can be ceremonial or commemorative. They are usually ornate, and sometimes bejeweled. Singular works of art in themselves, they are made by skilled craftsmen. Their uniqueness, value as art objects, and historical significance are recognized by specialists and connoisseurs in that at auction, notable keys have sold for many thousands of dollars.
With incomparable knowledge and open enthusiasm, Wallace brings this otherwise marginal or unknown topic into the field of interest of many readers.