Period Style Hardware

Period Style & Antique or Vintage Hardware

Posts Tagged ‘door knocker

Ribbon and Reed Pattern Lion Door Knocker

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Door knockers are a piece of ancient hardware history, and were at the height of their popularity about one hundred years ago.  This was back in the days before cell phones and electric door knobs.  It was common to find a home that had a bell-pull type door knob; these were typically on the more elaborately decorated homes of the wealthy. It was more likely that you would find a door knocker on a home instead.

Antique Brass Ribbon and Reed Lion Door Knocker

Antique Brass Ribbon and Reed Lion Door Knocker

Depending on your financial status depended on how decorative of a door knocker your home would have, or if you would have one at all.  The wealthier you were, the more decorative the style.  The wealthiest people would generally have a door knocker in the shape of an animal head, with a lion’s head being the most famous and popular ones.  Door knockers like these can be found on some of the most famous buildings throughout the United States as well as the U.K.

Manufactured in Two Sizes - 8 Finishes

Manufactured in Two Sizes - 8 Finishes

The people who came up with the designs for many of the Ribbon and Reed style door knockers have a real eye for detail.  They are exceptional at getting just enough detail in the animal heads while providing just a small amount on the ring.  These items were typically cast in polished brass so they would stand out, but copper and pewter also became popular over the years.

Made from Solid Bronze and Brass

Made from Solid Bronze and Brass

We offer this piece in two sizes – and several different finishes to match the décor of your home.  Antique bronze is the most popular, with the classic polished brass in a close second, followed by the oil rubbed bronze.  As always, we include the mounting hardware for the piece with your order in the same finish you have selected to eliminate the hassle of having to match it from the hardware store, or having to guess what size screw(s) you will need.

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Origins of the Fleur de Lis design – Door Knockers

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     The Fleur de Lis design has been immensely popular throughout European history, but is almost always associated with the French monarchy, although it has never been officially recognized by the French government.  It is still predominantly used on coats of arms throughout the region, more specifically with the King of Spain and the house of Bourbon, as well as many French-speaking Canadian provinces.

A fleur de lis door knocker finished in polished brass.

 

    The name Fleur de Lis translates into ‘lily flower’ although it is actually more similar to an iris than a lily.  It is said to have actually been named for the flowers of the river lis, which were irises.  Since saying that is quite a mouthful, the name was shortened.  While there are some documents that support this theory, few remain intact as this was before the 12th century, B.C.

This curtain tie-back displays the ornate usage of the fleur de lis.

 

   The ties between the symbol and the French monarchy can be traced back to the twelfth century, when kings Louis VI and Louis VII started using the design as propaganda on scepters trying to help portray themselves as saints.  Further uses of this design in France were on their nation’s flag, a banner that has changed several times over the centuries to include or remove it.

            In modern times, this symbol is often used as a decorative element on everything from the tops of fences, the arms of crosses and in many scouting troop uniforms, such as the Boy Scouts of America.  It is also very prevalent as elegant touches on homes in the forms of door knockers, or embellishments on door handles or other pieces of cabinetry hardware. The fleur-de-lis is the main element in the logo of most Scouting organizations, representing a major theme in Scouting: the outdoors and wilderness. The World Scout Emblem of the World Organization of the Scout Movement, has elements of which are used by most national Scout organizations. The symbol was chosen by Sir Robert Baden-Powell as it had been the arm-badge of those soldiers qualified as “Scouts” (reconnaissance specialists) when he served in the British Army. The classical description of this shape in Scouting literature connects the compass rose with the purpose of Scouting’s principles—namely that Scouting gives one’s life direction. The stars stand for truth and knowledge, the encircling rope for unity and its reef knot service. 

The fleur de lis design appears even in something so simple as this cabinet knob.

 

From this angle you can see the striking block beneath the knocker.

  

 

      These door knockers come in your choice of six different finishes (antique copper is pictured to the right) so that you may best accent your front door.  Included with each one is a striking block as well as a pair of mounting screws in a matching finish.

 

 

Written by antiqueswriter

June 28, 2011 at 9:12 am

Holy Rusted Door Knocker, Batman!

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Hey look! We’ve found something else that isn’t a drawer pull or door knob to show you! This piece, while it does associate with a door, is one of our less commonly found items. Door knockers used to be extremely popular, and quite necessary but since the invention of the electric door bell, they aren’t used quite as often.

Back in the day, these pieces would be found on nearly every door, even if they did have a buzzer, or bell. When people would call on one another, they may ring the bell that was next to the door, but more commonly would choose to use this less intrusive device. It was particularly popular in families with babies and young children, as it was less likely to wake them up while they were sleeping.

Rusted Door Knocker

Nowadays, these are more commonly used as merely a decorative piece on doors, and are very seldom used. They can most commonly be found on businesses, and some older model homes. There is a new trend starting among builders and homeowners to preserve the classicism that aged homes have provided, complete with antique and replica pieces adorning every possible fixture. While it can’t be said for sure as to whether or not people will actually use items such as door knockers on the homes, they certainly do add a certain touch that cannot be duplicated or replaced.

The possibilities for finishes on this piece are unlimited. Certainly polished brass is the most classic, but we think it would also look stunning in the oiled bronze and cast iron. We’re having a great debate about making a copper piece. While the metal is an absolutely gorgeous choice on some homes, it certainly doesn’t stand up to the elements like others do. Perhaps the patina that develops will still be a nice touch?

Written by antiqueswriter

March 23, 2011 at 7:25 pm

Box o’ Rust – Claddagh Door Knocker

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Here’s the first beauty from another box we purchased from a thrift store auction.  The heading for the item was “Box of Miscellaneous items” and it stated that some pieces were in ‘rough’ condition, while others were in ‘used but good’ condition.  No offense to this particular company, or whoever wrote the description, but you lied.

Based on that information, we fortunately won the auction for a very low price, and didn’t expect much from it.  What we received was a box of random items, most of them extremely rusty, and none that I have found yet to be in the ‘used but good’ condition advertised.  The miscellaneous part was right on the money though…we’re still trying to figure out what exactly some of the items are supposed to be.

This first one I was able to recognize right away, and many of you will as well.  It’s a door knocker in the traditional Irish Claddagh design.  This famous Irish symbol is notorious with love and romance in their culture, and is shared by many with an Irish heritage.

Claddagh Door Knocker

The piece is broken up into three parts; the hands stand for friendship, the heart stands for love, and the crown stands for loyalty.  This is most often seen in a ring form, and tradition states that if it is worn with the crown pointing towards the wearer, they are single, but if it turned with the heart facing theirs, then their heart already belongs to someone.

This is the perfect piece for any home that has someone in it that embraces their Irish heritage and is proud to show it off, or just likes the symbolism of the piece.  It will take us a little while to really clean this piece up so that we can replicate it, but we can’t wait to see what it looks like all shiny and pretty!  The finish of choice for this one will definitely be the polished brass, don’t you agree?

Keep watching – we will soon have this re-made just for you!

Written by antiqueswriter

February 18, 2011 at 4:22 pm

Beautiful Bronze or Brass Door Knocker

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In addition to the J. Arrington estates we talked about in Indonesia, there are also several on different islands in the Caribbean that have been sitting unused for decades.  Until recently, these estates were being held and managed by members of the Bartlett family, but now they have made the decision to release these items, as well as the properties themselves, for sale to certain buyers before letting the public take charge.

Brass Door Knocker Front View

Fortunately for us, one of the potential buyers they contacted has been a very close friend of ours for years.  He has known a few members of the Bartlett family for most of his life, with he and the youngest son being childhood friends that haven’t lost touch.  When he got the call about the sale, he immediately called me to invite me down to the islands with him to take a look at what they had to offer.  While he is an extremely intelligent and successful businessman, he has little knowledge of antiques and their potential value.

Brass Door Knocker Side View

Of course, I immediately said yes, and off we went in search of some great finds.  We have only started our searches, as there are several different properties scattered over the islands, but I wanted to go ahead and share a couple of the pieces that we’ve found so far.

This door knocker was on a door inside the house that once held a gentleman’s lounge.  The purpose was if a lady of the house needed her husband’s attention for to a matter, all she would have to do is knock three times, and wait patiently in the adjoining room for him to meet her there.  It was only to be used if and when the butler or her handmaiden were unavailable, which was very rare.  Needless to say, this has not be used very much, and is an exquisite example of what we are bound to find.

Brass Door Knocker Pieces

Written by antiqueswriter

January 17, 2011 at 3:06 pm

Exquisite Solid Bronze & Brass Door Knocker

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J. Arrington’s Villas in Bali, Indonesia may be gone, but the exquisite brass work and other magnificent pieces of hardware still exist.  This is another fine brass door knocker from the second villa.  This villa was used to entertain diplomats from the UK and the United States.  The décor of this villa was rumored to be quite elegant, but it was sadly deteriorated from lack of use.

This particular door knocker was said to be attached to the presidential suite of the villa.  This was one of the nicest rooms out of all four of the villas.  Several dignitaries graced this room and it was also used for esteemed guests of the family.

Our acquisition team was able to get this one for a fair deal, but had a lot of competition.  Several Australian acquisition teams were also on site bidding for wealthy private collections.  We think our purpose is much nobler; we are working on recreating this lovely piece so that you and others may include it in their home.

During our time in Bali, our acquisition team met with an American backpacker from Atlanta, Georgia named Kim Wadelton.  She was there on assignment for her Master’s work at Georgia Tech University where she is working on a double master’s in architecture and city planning.  She was able to direct our team to the auction and even taught them a little Indonesian to help them find their way around.  If it wasn’t for Ms. Wadelton, our team may have never found their way back home to deliver this exquisite brass hardware. We might turn this into a ring pull (smaller version) in her honor, someday…

Check back with us often to find out about the exquisite finds that our teams have located all across the globe.  You will find something for your home or office when you visit.  You can even find out about our new finds before anyone else.

Written by antiqueswriter

January 10, 2011 at 10:19 pm

J. Arrington Family Door Knocker from the Bali Villas

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There’s a lot of change happening in Bali, Indonesia right now.  Several American luxury villas that were built there in the 1920’s have been condemned and are slated for removal.  One of the villas belonged to the J. Arrington family of Massachusetts.  With no heirs to the Arrington fortune, the houses in the United States were auctioned off and the worldwide properties were kept as rentals to tourists visiting Indonesia.

With recent weather events, the four villas that are located in Bali were nearly destroyed, however the contents, much of it antiquities from the 1800’s were salvageable.  We sent a representative there to collect as much of the hardware as we could.  All of the pieces were handmade especially for the J. Arrington family and passed from generation to generation.

These particular pieces were handcrafted under the direction of Calvin Arrington for his wife Darla Arrington.  Darla had quite an eye for detail and a great appreciation for craftsmanship.  This beautiful brass door knocker was one of our acquisitions.  The Bali villas were built in the ‘20’s and served as a rice plantation and vacation spot for the Arrington family.  While we would have preferred to go in to the villas and acquire the hardware ourselves, we were not allowed as the buildings were too dangerous to enter.

The auction was quite successful, everything was sold from the shingles to the hardwood flooring and we were able to acquire several lovely pieces that we will be able to recreate shortly.  Most of the proceeds went to the Arrington’s estate which distributes funds to several different worldwide charities.  We will continue to be on the look out for auctions that hold the same kind of treasures as the Arrington family has had.  There are so many treasures to be found and we are dedicated to uncovering them and offering them to you.

Written by antiqueswriter

January 9, 2011 at 11:03 pm