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Old And Sold Antiques Digest Article

IRON AND BRASS DOOR KNOCKERS



Another article of interest to the collector of metal household articles is the door knocker of iron or brass. Simple hand-wrought iron knockers with a ring and plate were used in the 17th and 18th centuries in America, England and in the various countries of continental Europe. Cast-iron door knockers came later. In America the eagle was the favorite motif for the cast-iron knocker. Other cast-iron knockers of the 19th century had leaf decorations, Egyptian heads, the head of the goddess Diana, a hand grasping the knocker, or a woman's profile on the plate, and a wreath of flowers and leaves as the ring knocker. English knockers were cast in the form of a lion's head. However, since there are no marks it is difficult to distinguish the American from the English product. Most of the brass door knockers date from the 18th century. The two most popular motifs were the shell and vase designs. Shells are usually the earliest. Sometimes the shell forms the plate and again it is only a small motif on the ring of the knocker itself. The vase motif usually forms the plate against which the handle knocks. Early vases are simple and slender, while late in the 18th century the vase forms have a broader shape. The influence of Adam brought in details such as fluting, swags, laurel leaves, and floral motifs. Brass door knockers are seldom marked, but the collector should look for marks. Indeed the question of markings on articles of antique brass has not been explored, and diligent search may reveal makers' names with as much interest as those of other metalworkers.



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