Beauty In an Object: Vintage Keys

June 11, 2013

20130611-073450.jpg This is a quick story about one of my most meaningful and prized possessions, a vintage key from Paris. This was a gift from a vendor at the flea market, given to me after I purchased a slew of other vintage keys. I have always had an interest in keys, even as a young child. We have had a bowl of skeleton keys at the shops for sale since each first opened. Keys have such a past. Hold one and you can feel something. Think of where that key has travelled and the stories it could tell. I had gone through a huge assortment with this lovely flea market vendor, making my purchase and had started to walk away. “Wait!” I hear as I am about 10 feet away. The gentleman came towards me and said in English, but in that perfect way with a French accent, “Here, I would like you to have this as a small token of thanks for all the keys you just purchased.” He handed me the coolest key I had ever seen. It sits on my bedside table and I glance at it each day. It is marked ‘Paris’ on one side, and when you flip it over, it is embossed with an 11 with a star next to it, as well as a 45, which I was turning just a few weeks later. I was stunned. This simple little object took my breath away. What a simple gesture of thanks, that turned into a treasured possession. If we had a fire in our home, it would certainly be one of the things I would grab. The key is by no means valuable in terms of dollars, but it is priceless in terms of a memory of my cherished Paris, going to the flea markets, and all the things I adore about France.