The Lock Honcho

locks hunchoEverybody needs a hobby. Some take up some sort of sport or another, investing themselves in it and honing their skill and proficiency. Others adopt a pet after developing a keen interest in one or more species and learn all there is to know about them while tending their newly acquired pet as if it was their own flesh and blood. Others still start collections of a varying nature starting with stamps, coins and medals and ending with… locks.

You’d be surprised to learn how many people are out there who hold vast and ever expanding collections of locks.Ancient locks, modern locks, locks of all shapes and sizes, pad locks, chest locks, trick locks, locks from different parts of the world and so on and so forth. On of these avid collectors is Mr. V Raghunathan of India. Mr. Raghunathan has been a locks enthusiast for over 30 years, and had spent that time fostering his passion for locks, learning a whole lot about them and their history and accumulating a formidable collection of rare and special locks. Mr. Raghunathan’s collection includes over 700 pieces collected from all over India, north to south, east to west and acquired from antiquities shops, flee markets and even from private people.

Some of Mr. Raghunathan’s less than common locks include a few locks that can not be opened by one person alone. In order to unlock them, the assistance of another person is required. Another unusual characteristic of Mr. Raghunathan’s collection is the enormous diversity of his locks’ shapes: locks in shapes of animals such as lions, horses, camels, scorpions (wouldn’t want to try and pry that one open, no would you?), cows, dogs and cats, locks in the shape of various kinds of fruit, locks in shapes of revolvers, buckets, plants, pots and so much more. Some even more exotic locks include a lock that can only be unlocked while inserting a key into the key inserted into the lock itself, why don’t you take a second to reread that last sentence? It got us baffled sure enough. By collecting such exquisite examples of locks, Mr. Raghunathan and his fellow collectors, pay honor to the long lost craftsmanship of ancient locksmiths and the craft of lock-making which people today don’t seem to appreciate even though you can’t throw a stone without hitting one form of lock or another as it’s so widely spread and used.