Antique door knockers



2015-06-26 11:16:03

Antique door knockers are items of antique door furniture, used for knocking, and often made from metals such as copper, brass, wood and cast iron. Antique door knockers are available in numerous designs and degrees of elaborateness. Popular designs include hands (which are generally Victorian), mermaids and nymphs (a 16th century fashion), lion head knockers (which are also Victorian though contemporary reproductions are extremely common) and faces such as gargoyles. Antique door knockers can be found in reclamation yards as well as antique and interiors shops, car boot sales, and garage sales. They commonly come up for auction although it is rare for a knocker to achieve more than approximately $200. For a knocker to achieve more than this figure it would have to be particularly old, beautiful, symbolic or rare.

As a general rule, the older a door knocker is and the more finely it has been decorated, the more it will be worth. Condition is also a key consideration. Although door knockers are typically made out of extremely resilient and durable materials, inexpert attempts at scouring a knocker clean or using corrosive chemical cleaners can severely damage even the hardiest of knockers.

Collector's ought to be aware that an under-cleaned (and therefore undamaged knocker) is worth infinitely more than a knocker which has been scoured beyond repair.

Collector's guide

You are not alone. Cyndi Lauper is obsessed with door knockers, claiming "I've got them all".

Price guide

A 16th century Venetian bronze door knocker decorated with sirens sold at Sotheby's in April 2012 for $24,318.

A pair of bronze Chinese Tang Dynasty door knockers sold for $5,000 at Showplace Antique + Design Centre in December 2010.

An antique French steel door knocker sold for £4,200 at Sotheby's in Ocober 2006.

A highly elaborate Victorian door knocker, decorated with cherubs and a north wind mask, sold for $450 in September 2009 at Grand View Antiques and Auction.

A huge, vintage, brass lion's head knocker sold for $180 in March 2005 at Affiliated Auctions.


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