I'm looking for a replica of a Victorian style bit key ("skeleton key") rim lock for use on an entrance door, so the old style case must conceal a modern 5-lever tumbler mechanism. The replicas that I have found so far are all simple warded locks (i.e.
). Does anyone know where I can get one of these with a modern 5-lever lock? Thanks,
The nearest I have seen is at Pompellier House in New Zealand (built by French Catholic missionaries in the early 1800's to print gospels, prayer books etc). Someone seems to have handcrafted wooden lock cases and bolts 'driven' by a normal 5 lever deadlock inside the case. The arrangement is probably more likely a pre-Victorian replica. The key would need to be re-cut on a longer shank blank to pass through the width of the door. I have also seen replica rim locks at Colonial Williamsburg (although I cannot see them in the current catalogue) operated by an ordinary lock cylinder concealed behind a large escutchion and cover.
By the way there is no way a bit key fo a 5 lever lock can be called a 'skeleton' key, this sort of key being applicable to warded locks only.