Daily Archives: July 20, 2011

Diverse Door Knockers

We’re doing some work on our front entrance, or I should say Dennis (the man who seems to be able to do anything) is doing some work on our front entrance.  Living in a double house means that if your neighbors paint anything that is immediately adjacent to your house, you must paint or be shabby by comparison!  As you can see, our entry differs from theirs anyway, as the guy who bought our half of the house in the 1860s was determined to “update” it in as many ways as possible, and so we have a much more Victorian entrance.  I like the window and portico feature, but as it juts out a bit there are always some weathering issues, which Dennis is addressing.

Looking at the front door focused my attention on its hardware.  We really need a new doorknob and I’ve never been happy with the door knocker, although it seems to be a match to the one next door.

Any opportunity to ditch daily responsibilities and dash up to Old House Parts in Kennebunk, Maine to look at bins of door knobs and knockers is welcome, but first I thought I’d look around for some inspiration.  So here’s my door knocker tour of Salem, beginning with the more whimsical door knocker creatures, familiar and a bit more exotic.

Some Arts-and-Crafts-looking ladies.  The red door opens the Chestnut Street house which formally belonged to the Salem artist Philip Little.  The same door knocker is clearly present (especially if you use the zoom feature) in a 1910 Frank Cousins photograph that I found in the great digital archive at the Art Institute of Chicago.

Some inanimate door knockers around town, including the more conventional (pineapple) and some unique (a harp?) examples.  I like the “knocking hand”, though the Old House Parts website informs me that this is a Colonial Revival knocker, not quite right for our house.


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