If you live in an older home with an antique skeleton key, also known as a bit and barrel key, you know there’s something almost enchanting about those charming antique locks. Skeleton keys are pretty enough that they’re often made into jewelry and decor, and yet they’ve served a practical purpose for more than a century.


These antique master keys can typically open every lock in a home. They’re most commonly found in Sears Craftsman and Victorian homes as well as any home that’s close to a century or more in age. If you’ve lost your skeleton key, don’t worry about having to replace all of your home’s fantastic antique doors or locks. Here’s how our team at Minneapolis Lock and Key can help you solve your skeleton key problem.


Antique Keys, If You Please

Skeleton keys were once very common in homes and even for furniture. Antique furniture collectors and vintage aficionados often find a smaller skeleton key with a lovely old hutch or china cabinet.


Homeowners associate them with glass doorknobs and everything that makes an older home charming. A skeleton key is an elegant connection to the past, which is why it can be worrying if you lose one.


The Mystery of the Skeleton Key

Skeleton keys are also sometimes called pass keys because they open just about any lock in a home. They’re most commonly associated with warded locks. These are a type of lock that uses obstructions and corresponds to a notched key. A skeleton key is smooth rather than notched, which makes it easily able to pass by the obstructions or wards and open the locks.


Replacing a Skeleton Key

Because bit and barrel keys are antiques, homeowners who move into older homes with missing skeleton keys may not realize they can be replaced. But don’t replace your antique locks just yet. And, if we determine a replacement skeleton key simply won’t work with your existing lock, we can replace the set—both the key and its lock—to match the original’s look.


At Minneapolis Lock and Key, we’ve been working with Twin Cities locks since 1915, when many of those skeleton keys were brand new! Replacing a key is a relatively simple process with the right level of expertise. We can create a new key with a replica of the original. Just give us a call.


Connect With Our Twin Cities Antique Key Services

Whether you live in a charming old bungalow or you’ve just picked up a beautiful heirloom with a missing skeleton key, we can help. We repair or replace your antique key or lock while preserving the timeless beauty of your home or furniture.


If you need a skeleton key, who better to trust than the team that’s been working with skeleton keys for a century? Contact our antique locksmithing team at 612.823.8148, or contact us to learn more.