By on March 8th, 2015
Detector lock with key, John Wilkes (slotenmaker), c. 1675 - c. 1700 iron, h 11.9cm × w 16.2cm × d 2.9cm. More details The keyhole for this lock is concealed behind the man’s left leg. The lock opens and closes when the key is turned twice. With two complete turns of the key, the dial at which the man’s stick is pointing rotates. This records how often the lock has been opened. The doorknob is released when the man’s hat is pushed aside.

Detector lock with key, John Wilkes (slotenmaker), c. 1675 – c. 1700 iron, h 11.9cm × w 16.2cm × d 2.9cm.  The keyhole for this lock is concealed behind the man’s left leg. The lock opens and closes when the key is turned twice. With two complete turns of the key, the dial at which the man’s stick is pointing rotates. This records how often the lock has been opened. The doorknob is released when the man’s hat is pushed aside.

Rijksmuseum

Looking at this admirable security device from the 1600s I’m questioning why a screw-head on one leg, a rosette on the other?  So I look up the reference. Nothing about the screw but way more than I’d imagined about the vaguely mail-boxy looking plaque. James Bond and Q could admire it.

How common it is for us to know too much and fail to question.  We think we know what we see — sure, sure — and gallop on to the next featureless blur.  A road direct to boredom.

Isaac Asimov  said

The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not ‘Eureka!’ but ‘That’s funny…’  

Let your eyes ask that same question as you locomote through life.

I’m reinventing my blog Green As Sky because I love the breadcrumb trail.   Maybe it takes you inside an ingenious clockworks. Maybe it leads to a bear scooping honey from a tree.  Questioning definitely draws you further into life than a brief blank stare.  And it may take you into delightful territory you never set out to view.

Why a screw?

This new blog will attempt to be more about ideas and less about formatting.  Will be less of a link-heavy reference.   And will feature short as well as long posts.  If you care to investigate or refresh, some of my favorite earlier posts are listed below.

Wood

Catching a Wave — With a Camera 

Art in Sacred Spaces

A Trail of Herrings

Smithereens, part 1 — Kintsukuori & Wabi-Sabi

Smithereens, part 2 — Breakage and Contemporary Suchness

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
2 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Terry Hale
6 years ago

I am a huge Asimov fan. It has been ages since I saw that very apt quote. The screw head is the interface by which one would loosen or tighten the screw itself and hold it in place, which thereby becomes a fastener. I would assume its purpose is to hold the non-functional part of the gentleman in place, and allow access to the workings of his left leg and arm, rather than allowing repairs to the lock. That would be awkward. The rosetta is the head of the bushing that allows the leg to swivel. A not-fastener. And I’m… Read more »