From the end of the 17th century, the art of lock-making had reached a very high standard and individual design 'according to the various fancies of men' (Moxon, Mechanick Exercises). Locks were regarded as portable property and transferred between houses. By the early 18th century, great praise was given for the locksmith's craft, an industry that was centered in London, Birmingham and Wolverhampton. The work was subdivided between those making the keys, wards, springs and plates. (M. Jourdain, 'English Locks of the Eighteenth Century', Country Life, 3 January 1947, pp.71-74).
Identical pierced strapwork spandrels and similar engraved designs feature on an lockplate of circa 1695 signed Philip Harris, London at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London (illustrated in P.N. and H.Schiffer, The Brass Book, Exton, PA, 1978, p.285, fig.A). The shape of the handles on the Vander Poel pair would suggest a slightly later date.