I note that there is a substantial groove worn in the shackle where it would have been in contact with the locking piece when closed, indicating that the lock was used for a long time. 5265 You have to wonder why this tiny iron padlock was made! Seems to me that a bronze one would have been more attractive, even at that time. A lock this size could be broken rather easily anyway. Perhaps, I don't know what the economics of producing locks of different materials would be. The key is so simple that it would probably not be recognized by excavators as a key, and we are not ever likely to see one!The sketch at right shows the general form of the missing pieces. This is the only one of this type that I've seen with a keyhole cover!

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At the end of travel of the key, the bits on the end of the key pop up from the lower to upper chamber, compressing the two springs.

With a side keyhole, the curve of the key would be critical in opening such a lock.

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This is especially true since similar locks were in use until very recent times.

Shown here are some examples found in Britain (Ward, 1911) Small bronze barrel padlocks (2" or less) with barbed spring mechanisms that I have seen, sometimes ascribed to Roman times, are medieval.

Another such padlock of this type is shown below as Cots-2 (Cotswold).

A sketch of a somewhat later two-chamber Swedish lock is shown at right (Historicallocks.com/Vendel-Era) 4865 Large iron padlock with attached chain.

It almost looks like there was something that fitted there and was retained by the loops, but I don't know what it could have been. 5170 This is a modern replica of an iron box-style Roman padlock.

5165 Small lock with bottom keyhole and ward for slide key. Shows pretty closely what they would have looked like when new.

5073 Very good condition for an iron lock 5122 Rectangular box lock of sheet iron, bent over a bottom/end piece and reinforced at the bottom with a pair of riveted iron strips. 5127 A sturdy iron locking piece with a nice intact set of springs. 5133 Bronze with elaborate decorations Cots-1 An iron box type padlock, found in Britain (admin.cotswold) of riveted construction, similar to that illustrated by Ward, above Cots-2 This one with a side keyhole like many of mine 5158 This little padlock is deteriorated to the point of falling apart, but the locking piece is still in pretty good shape.