The Classification of Ancient Civil Locks in China

Because of the long history of ancient Chinese locks, there are many varieties and different shapes, and there has been little research on locks and no classification. Therefore, there is no unified classification so far. In the development process of locks, there are many varieties and various names, which can be divided and discussed from the aspects of materials, shapes, practical value, and implications. From the perspective of materials alone, locks can be divided into metal locks and composite material locks. In terms of shapes, locks are classified into there are generally square and round locks, locks with Chinese characters, combination locks, pillow locks, animal locks and secret door locks. From the actual use of locks, there are cabinet locks, door locks, padlocks, warehouse locks, drawer locks and box locks. From the manufacturing process of locks, there are locks such as gold coating locks and carving locks. From the perspective of the shape and meaning of the locks, they are divided into firecracker locks, oxtail locks, dragon and phoenix locks, keyless locks, dual locks, secret door locks, bottom unlocking locks, upside-down locks, Chinese character combination locks, square locks, horn locks, copper three-color locks, digital combination locks, labyrinth locks, postal locks, etc.
It can be seen that the Chinese lock culture is extensive and profound, and the cultural connotation and symbolic meaning with our Chinese characteristics contained in the lock are developed after thousands of years of continuous cultural evolution. The "Four Locks" in ancient China are Guang locks, Huaqi locks, jewelry locks, torture tool locks.

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