Have you ever heard the word "escutcheon" (ih-skuhch-uhn)? Whether you have or have not, I can guarantee you've seen thousands of escutcheons in your lifetime. An escutcheon is a decorative plate that surrounds a keyhole to protect it from wear. Most often made of metal but sometimes porcelain or wood, you will find these on furniture, doors and other places where a lock and key would be used.
I took this beautifully made brass escutcheon and turned it into a pendant:
This is a porcelain example, also a pendant. I thought it would be fun to sell an escutcheon with a skeleton key, and the owner could give the key to someone special. Very symbolic, no?
A classic bat-wing shaped brass escutcheon:
To learn more about escutcheons and other furniture and house hardware, visit Robinson's Antiques, an online catalog of replacement hardware that's extensive and a great resource if you are ever in need of a knob for your Hoosier cupboard, spool cabinet, or something specific. It's nice to know you can replace missing knobs, handles and even escutcheons on many old pieces. Don't give up on replacing a missing piece of hardware until you've checked Robinson's!