I posted this at another subreddit and was redirected here. Hopefully someone here knows something more about this than we do.
Ok, so I got this pic from my father, a contractor up in rural midwest Indiana. He needs to find a key to this lock (I think), but he thinks it might be a double-bit skeleton key as the brass backplate is almost definitely an Eastlake design from Sargent & Co. – roughly circa 1850-1880 (late Victorian) or so.
I’ve searched extensively online and found many, many Eastlake pieces that match the patter of the backplate. It seems they started making more cast iron around 1900, which makes me think the brass plate is, in fact, late Victorian. I am visiting him soon and hope to help him open the door without damaging the lock or hardware. I’d rather not attempt to pick it, even though the owner would be cool with that as what they really want is a working lock so they can use the space. So. If can track down the type of key and/or key number and obtain one, that would be ideal.
If we are mistaken and this is, in fact, NOT a keyhole, then, well, any better information would be most welcome.
Thank you in advance for any and all help!