We offer two sizes of skeleton key sample rings. We have an economical ten key sample ring and we have the complete set which has every key that we carry. These are great for antique shops and furniture restorers who need the samples to test so that they know which keys to order for their customers.
When I think of skeleton keys it brings me back to the days as a child and my Grandfather's old slat top desk. The key was always protruding through the keyhole. How different life was back in the days that you commonly locked your furniture while leaving your home unlocked. Many types of furniture used a variety of barrel bit keys. These are the hollow round shaft keys with the flang on the end to turn the lock throw. It is not uncommon to have a key that will unlock the drawers of a dresser that belonged to your Grandparents and also unlock a bow front china cabinet that you purchased at an antique show.
While there are some pieces that used a more complex bit a few of the reproduction skeleton keys will unlock a wide variety of furniture. Many years ago when Phyllis Kennedy first entered the hardware business, she would go to flea markets and shows with several keys in her purse. Many times she would be successful in locking a dealers china cabinet or dresser drawers with one of the keys she carried. This most always lead to an interesting conversation as well as a keys sale to a future long time customer.
Today we sell skeleton keys by the hundreds, not only to people in the antiques world but to promotionaal companies and advertisers. One of the more interesting sales was to a wonderful woman who used the keys for seating assignments at her daughter's wedding. They were even used as a prop by the photographer to produce a stunning photo of the couple's wedding rings