A Victorian Rim Latch

This may not look like much but its a much painted over elderly rim latch. It was part of a door that was dumped on the street near our workshop. After a few minutes work we had it in our workshop for restoration. It will eventually be added to our collection of Heritage Hardware. Some of the paint was highly likely to contain lead we used chemical stripper. 
We discovered that there were many, many layers of paint on this latch. Easily 10 layers because we could see various paint colours being stripped off. Once the vast majority of paint had been removed a drill mounted wire brush was used to finish the cleaning. 

And here is the almost finished result.

This piece of ironmongery had no identifying marks on it so precise dating is a challenge. We described this as an elderly rim latch but how old might this actually be? The street in which this latch and door was found has late Victorian terrace houses in it. One imagines that the person(s) dumping this door would not have carried it too far. So perhaps this is Victorian? The door from which it was removed was of a distinctly Victorian pattern. 

This photo is of a known Victorian latch seen in the Black Country Living Museum. It is not too dissimilar to our latch. 
Taking our latch to pieces revealed its component parts. 
We can reflect on both the number of parts and how it was made. Amongst the parts we have mild steel stamping & pressings, riveted parts, 2 springs, brass castings (both machined), a cast iron lever, sheet brass formed into knobs mounted on turned brass spigots & 3 screws. 
This is the locking snib from within the latch. It is made of brass. The rough textured part indicates that it was cast in sand. You will note the circular grooves around the finger recess which indicates further machining. Our brass component neatly leads onto our next photograph. 
This is a Brass Foundry that was demolished and rebuilt in the Black Country Living Museum. It originally stood in Shaw Street, Walsall. Back in the day it was not unusual to find such workshops behind houses.  There were many such workshops in the West Midlands. Therefore we think that it is highly likely that this latch was made locally in similar workshops. Remember this was before such items were imported from overseas. The idea of it having been made locally is, we feel, supported by this building.