Artist/maker unknown, American
This padlock is a furnishing for a large dollhouse. The dollhouse is built in the style of a cabinet, which is typical of the early nineteenth century, when dollhouses were made primarily for the amusement of adults. Local craftsmen generally made the houses, and the owners decorated the interiors. These pieces often contained precious "toys" or miniatures, sometimes of silver, and therefore they were commonly fitted with a lock and key. It was not until after about 1830 that toy dollhouses for children began to be manufactured and marketed by toy makers.