I am testing to see how it works adding a ‘blog’ page to my website, as if it turns out as I expect I will be able to regularly blog on my other main site but keep it more of an interest section instead
While door knockers may be considered somewhat old-fashioned by some, and while their function has changed much over the years, they are still used as a decorative adornment for many front doors.
Door knockers have been in use since early Macedonian times, where some have been found dating back to 400 BC. Naturally, due to the difficulty of crafting these items, they were mainly used on the houses of the elite and ruling class of those days. Interestingly enough, they were commonly used in the early Roman empire, during the Gothic period starting around the 1100′s, and again gaining in popularity during the Medieval days. They fell from favor during the middle of the 19th century when a wave of modernism caused home owners to replace their paneled doors with plain doors and did away with their fancy door knockers and latches. A renewed interest in antiques of all kinds in the early 1900′s saw a reappearance of the humble and sometimes not-so-humble antique door knockers, many of which had been stored away in attics by those with an eye for preserving heirlooms or had been bought up cheaply by collectors of the time.
The Medieval door knocker was a very carefully crafted item. Door knockers made during the Renaissance were some of the most lavishly designed and artistically crafted, in part because of the way they were made those days. It was common for artists to draw up these designs and patterns, while smiths were responsible for the actual craftwork. The earliest door knockers were made from iron, while later ones were made from brass.
There is much rich history concerning them. Did you know, for example that during Medieval times, door knockers on a church door was used to secure sanctuary for the person who was able to reach it in time and grasp the ring before his pursuers reached him? They also have their place in much fine literature, with perhaps the door knocker made famous in Dicken’s ‘Christmas Carol’ being one of the better known, with its reflection of Marley’s face giving Scrooge a warning of what was about to befall him during the night.
Today, door knockers can be made from cast iron, brass, stainless steel and even pewter. Most today are used for purely decorative purposes, as almost every home has a door bell installed on the outside of their door. They provide a focal point on a door that is usually very pleasing to the eye. In fact, modern designed knockers are often as intricately designed as those made by craftsmen hundreds of years ago. Indeed, many are actual replicas of antique style door knockers with it sometimes being difficult to tell the difference; particularly if the replica is of very good quality and well designed.
One of the most popular styles of door knocker is the lion’s head door knocker. A door knocker featuring an animal head is often a very popular choice particularly for more rural or country settings. Another popular design is the ring door knocker. As with many other decorative items, fashions and trends do tend to come and go; however there are certain classic styles such as those mentioned above which rarely seem to go out of style.
Some door knockers can be engraved with the name of the home occupants or some kind of welcome (or warning!) message. However, this type of personalized door knocker is usually used on personal homes as they may not be appropriate to use if you are renting; unless you plan on taking the knocker with you when you move on. It is also possible to buy some with peep-holes in them, which can double as a very good security feature that allows you to see who is standing on the other side of the door.
There are plenty of online sites offering door knockers and other decorations for sale, with sites specializing in door hardware. They can range in style from classic replicas, to highly decorative to some that are obviously just for fun! They are also readily available at most home supply stores and online at Amazon. You can find a solid brass one on sale on Amazon for as little as under $12, while many other brass door knockers are in the $30 to $40 price range. Of course, if you want to go for a more unique type, you can expect to pay up to $100 for one, however cheaper versions that still look very stylish can be found at much more reasonable prices. Remember, if you are ordering online, to calculate shipping costs into your final purchase price.
If you want to liven up your front door, you may want to try hanging a door knocker. They are usually very simple to install, though they will require your drilling a hole into the door in most cases in order to attach it. Again, if you are renting, you will need to be prepared to either leave the knocker behind or fill up the holes and paint over it once you leave.
They also make a great gift. While you can find some that are fairly inexpensive, investing in a higher quality one will make a great wedding gift or even a gift to the brand new home owner.
Door knockers may not be as useful as they once were, but they are certainly not out of style. They can add a little style and flair to an otherwise fairly boring door and while they do not replace the door bell they add a certain charm that is not really found in the more modern doorbells that are available these days.