Brass, cast and gilt
England; about 1775
This fine set of door furniture is a recent addition to the V&A collections. It is based on designs by one of Britain's greatest 18th-century architects, Robert Adam (1728-92), and was probably made by an important Midlands locksmith, Thomas Blockley (1705-89). The design reflects Adam's professed aim for 'light mouldings, gracefully formed'. The urn-shaped escutcheon swivels to reveal a key hole plate, while one of the rams' heads turns to act as a secondary bolt. The other is a dummy to balance the design.