HOUSE OF KEY(E)S
—Like that, see. Two crossed keys here. A circle. Then here the name. Alexander Keyes, tea, wine and spirit merchant. So on.
Better not teach him his own business.
—You know yourself, councillor, just what he wants. Then round the top in leaded: the house of keys. You see? Do you think that’s a good idea?
The foreman moved his scratching hand to his lower ribs and scratched there quietly.
—The idea, Mr Bloom said, is the house of keys. You know, councillor, the Manx parliament. Innuendo of home rule. Tourists, you know, from the isle of Man. Catches the eye, you see. Can you do that?
I could ask him perhaps about how to pronounce that voglio. But then if he didn’t know only make it awkward for him. Better not.
—We can do that, the foreman said. Have you the design?
—I can get it, Mr Bloom said. It was in a Kilkenny paper. He has a house there too. I’ll just run out and ask him. Well, you can do that and just a little par calling attention. You know the usual. Highclass licensed premises. Longfelt want. So on.
The foreman thought for an instant.
—We can do that, he said. Let him give us a three months’ renewal.
A typesetter brought him a limp galleypage. He began to check it silently. Mr Bloom stood by, hearing the loud throbs of cranks, watching the silent typesetters at their cases.
According to gradesaver.com Alexander Keyes is the owner of a teashop called the house of Keyes. ( source ) Bloom appears to be trying to embellish the design of the ad with two crossed keys which apparently becomes a problem for him and the bulk of the conflict in this episode. This is paralleled in mythology by the story of Aeolus binding up ill winds in a leather bag for Odysseus. Odysseus’s men eventually release the winds and they are blown tragically off course ( source ). As a printmaker myself I really enjoy the ability to draw the craft of handmade printing.