Period Style Hardware

Period Style & Antique or Vintage Hardware

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

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