What Is It? March 2021

   We had several correct guesses for our March What Is It. Michele Pontious of Belleair, Florida; Elsie Loyle of Wichita, Kansas; Jerome McLaren of Conifer, Colorado, (who pointed out that these are ancient Roman ring keys. Circa 100-400 A.D. Made of bronze and iron); Terry Cook of Ft. Morgan, Colorado, added these keys were “used for homes, gates, etc., around 200-400 A.D.” She also added, “Loved this most recent issue and, of course, the What Is It? is my favorite.” Thank you, Terry!
   These are ancient Roman keys. They were generally crafted from bronze or brass and were often designed to be worn as finger rings as these were.
   Locks and keys are often caked with dust and dirt when you find them. Do not do more than a rudimentary cleaning since they are worth more if they retain their antique patina. A mild household detergent strips surface grime off brass or bronze. Iron can be washed with kerosene and left outdoors to dry. A good cleaning could reduce value greatly so be careful.
   Also, we want to add some more winners to our last month’s 1920s toaster What Is It. Julie Bartos of Glenwood, Minnesota; Bill Evans of Elizabeth, Colorado and Dottie Unruh of Lakewood, Colorado all correctly identified our March What Is It.
   Thank you everyone for your guesses! You have all won a year’s subscription to the Mountain States Collector.

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