Combination lock in China, Persia and India


combination lock
The Chinese did not invent the combination lock, but Vexier locks may have come into use in that country around the 13th or 14th century. These locks are operated using a series of rings or cubes. All around the outer surface of the rings or cubes are etched or embossed letters, numbers, or pictograms, usually four per ring or cube. To open the lock, you must turn each ring to align the characters in the correct combination.


Iran, combination lock, 19th–20th century. Tanavoli, Locks from Iran

The earliest known combination lock came from the northwestern part of Iran. It has been dated to 1483.


India, combination lock, 18th–19th century. Chandra Prakasch