Anyone know anything about key-guns? Gun-keys?


April 22, 2007, 11:39 PM

Says "Londini" along the top and "Dolep" on the lock.

4 at the key loop/handle.
Anyone know what this is?

Is it original?

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April 23, 2007, 04:22 AM
That really is a cool looking gun.
Is it an original? Original what? Gun key... would appear so.

Is it worth anything... I am sure just from a curio view point it should net you some $$$$.

Where did you come by it?

April 23, 2007, 04:29 AM
There was an Andrew Dolep (Invented the blunderbuss) who was the appointed gunsmith to Prince George of Denmark..1690 ish.

So take it to an Antiques specialist... if the real Mc Coy that key is certainly worth a fair amount of money.

April 23, 2007, 05:41 AM
The dog lock design ( that catch behind the cock, or hammer) was usually an indication of an earlier flintlock. As far as originality goes, who knows these days? I've never seen or heard of any replicas like this and my first impulse toward it is that it probably is an original but I only know enough to make me an attractive 'mark' for some shrewd counterfitter.

I would think that it should be very valuable if original and pretty valuable (both scientific terms) even if it is a reproduction.

About what caliber is it? It's a neat piece!


April 23, 2007, 08:26 AM
DGW has a match lock key gun kit. I've not seen a repro flintlock type yet but they could be out there. Try to get a real good expert to examine it hands on, if it's real it's probably fairly valuable. Nice gun regardless of how old it is, I'm thinking about getting the DGW key kit just to have one...

April 23, 2007, 08:35 AM
I guess that it was a good idea to keep your keys in your hand while getting from your carriage to your door back in those days just as it is today.

April 23, 2007, 10:28 AM
Just a little more insurance when opening the door locks. You already had your gun in hand just in case somebody got frisky.

The Doc is out now. :cool:

April 23, 2007, 11:20 AM
My parents in law gave it to me as a gift (they know I love guns). They apparently found it in an antique shop. I didn't ask them what they paid (wouldn't be kosher).

As for the caliber... I took a pic of the muzzle but thought twice about posting it in fear of some of the more fanatical "4-rules" folks at THR. :D

here is a pic...

A 9mm cartridge will fit in the muzzle; a .40S&W bullet will enter the muzzle up to the case rim with a bit of pressure. I suppose that means it's close to a .40 caliber. Looks like a smoothbore to me, or the rifling is REALLY bad... LOL

April 23, 2007, 12:19 PM
Take it to an antique gun dealer...

Also try the Firearms research area on this forum. Those people do know their guns, and might be able to shed more light...

April 23, 2007, 01:10 PM
Look for any wear or scratches that might have occured if it was an actual key to unlock things. If it was ever actually used, it might have scratches around the front end.

April 23, 2007, 02:02 PM
One interesting thing was the flintlock lock gun. It worked just like a lock if you turned the key exactly right. If you didn't though, it shot you in the guts. Worked on the owner as well as an interloper.

April 23, 2007, 02:52 PM
A quick look at the internet...
I believe 'Londini' was the old fashioned word used for London around 1600.
It should have London Gunmakers' Company proof marks, as far as I understood, but do not know what these look like or are. If this is a real antique it is a mighty interesting piece. It seemes to be in a very well preserved state as well.

April 23, 2007, 03:41 PM
All I could find was this..

Back issues of "Arms Collecting, formerly known as The Canadian Journal of Arms Collecting"

Vol. 23, No. 2 (May, 1985)
Howard, Gordon T., p. 60-62 The Key Gun.

The page also contains the word Londini , although not in conjunction. Might be worth writing them an email at least though. It also contains the world dolep in this entry.

Vol. 40, No. 4 (Nov. 2002)
Forman, James D. Andrew Dolep, Gunsmith to His late Highness Prince George of Denmark. pp. 119-121

Here is a bonhams lot entry, from early this month for a flintlock pistol from "Andrew Dolep Of London, Circa 1690" It mentions "London proof marks and maker's mark"
It appears that it sold for about $7,601.13 USD

If what you have there is real.. it could be worth some serious money. I might suggest contacting bonhams at a usa location. Heres a list of them.

April 23, 2007, 04:44 PM
Thanks fellers. Hopefully an 'Antiques Roadshow' will come to town someday. :D

May 5, 2007, 06:43 PM
Ever find out anything more about this ?

June 20, 2009, 11:39 PM

June 21, 2009, 12:50 AM
Wierd. That's a big ol' honkin' key! Very cool collectible though.

June 21, 2009, 01:56 AM
Id email pics to Antiques roadshow That may be a one off key for a king? It sure is cool.

June 21, 2009, 01:59 AM
I did find this,-1-c-70txp1260s

June 21, 2009, 03:07 AM
Found this on Google, this one's even cooler looking. In a museum too, so no wonder.

June 21, 2009, 06:58 AM
It has also been purported that key guns were used by jailers, for their protection, when unlocking or locking cell doors.

June 21, 2009, 12:30 PM
:cool: I had no idea they made stuff like that back in the day !

June 21, 2009, 07:30 PM
Here's a non-firing reproduction I bought and framed a while ago.
Mine would shoot a bb w/ a cap, much like a parlor gun. Like your's mo'beta!!

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