Asprey Patent Bramah Lock

Asprey Patent locks were essentially Bramah locks that had been customised using Asprey’s own patented design. A normal box lock would simply be left in the unlocked position unless it was manually locked with a key. This meant that a forgetful, or over-trusting owner could easily leave the box unprotected and vulnerable. To try and combat this issue, some Bramah locks were modified by using a spring-loaded self-locking mechanism that automatically locks the box when the lid is closed. The key would then have to be used each time you wanted to open the box. However, this wasn’t a perfect solution as it would now mean that the key would need to be stored separately from the box, and indeed what happens if the key is accidently left in the box after its been closed?

Asprey’s solution was to take the self-locking Bramah lock and spring-load the front aperture mechanism, sliding it either across or downwards to disengage the locking mechanism; releasing hold of the front aperture immediately returns the locking mechanism to its locked position. If the key is misplaced or left inside the box, the box can still be opened using this very discrete action.

The purpose of the key is to lock the spring-loaded front aperture mechanism in place; in this state the box is completely deadlocked.

Asprey Patent locks were made with such precision, that unless you were aware about this sliding mechanism, you would not guess of its existence. The only visible sign differentiating this version from a more standard Bramah lock is the stamp ‘Asprey’s Patent’ on the circumference of the lock.

Close-up of an Asprey Patent Bramah Lock (Closed and Open).

Close-up of an Asprey Patent Bramah Lock (Closed and Open).

Asprey Patent Bramah Lock, Stamped 'Asprey, 166 Bond St'.

Asprey Patent Bramah Lock, Stamped ‘Asprey, 166 Bond St’.

Asprey Antique Jewellery Box with Betjemann Patent Mechanism and Candlesticks.

Asprey Antique Jewellery Box with Betjemann Patent Mechanism and Candlesticks.

Asprey Patent Bramah Locks from an Antique Dressing Case.

Asprey Patent Bramah Locks from an Antique Dressing Case.

Antique Dressing Case in Burr Walnut with Silver-Gilt / Gold Fittings by Asprey & Sons.

Antique Dressing Case in Burr Walnut with Silver-Gilt / Gold Fittings by Asprey & Sons.