Second half of the 19th century. Characteristic “Arab” form with V spring mechanism. Iron brazed construction. Just under 3” width. The front with simple decorative line work. Original key and functional. Dating to the period of control of the slave and ivory trade by Tippu Tip. Slavery in Africa is centuries if not millennia old. In the modern era, it consisted of the capture and export of slaves on the Atlantic coast to the Americas, capture of slaves for domestic use, human consumption, and sale to Arabic buyers and capture of Christians at sea and the Mediterranean coast for ransom and the slave market. Tippu Tib, of Arab and African heritage, built a financial and political empire based on control of the slave and ivory trade, owning over 10,000 slaves himself in 1895. He also granted passage and assistance to Stanley and Livingstone. This lock survives from the East African/Arab trade.