Suffolk Pattern Thumb Latch Handle

Suffolk Pattern Thumb Latch Handle

E.R. Butler & Co. Collection

The Suffolk Thumb Latch is a style of latch distinguished by its lack of a single backplate or escutcheon; instead it features two cusps joined by the handle.

In America its use was widespread in the mid-nineteenth century, though colonists in New England had used the Suffolk latch for at least a century. The streamlined pattern made it quick and simple to forge, even from a single iron bar. Originally the latch was imported from England or forged by American ironworkers imitating British styles; however the simple design allowed blacksmiths to create styles uniquely American.

In Boston, Enoch Robinson & Co. made early Suffolk latches, as did Enoch Robinson's onetime collaborator William Hall. Robinson's former employee L.S. Hall carried on Robinson's business under his own name until selling the company to the W.C. Vaughan Co. When the W.C. Vaughan Co. later bought the assets and decorative patterns of Wm. Hall & Co. they reunited the historic collaboration.

Our latch has stylistic elements common throughout nineteenth-century New England. Forged from solid brass, the Suffolk thumb latch handle is available in all standard, custom plated and patinated finishes.