Period Style Hardware

Period Style & Antique or Vintage Hardware

Archive for the ‘Victorian’ Category

Ribbon and Reed Pattern Lion Door Knocker

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Door knockers are a piece of ancient hardware history, and were at the height of their popularity about one hundred years ago.  This was back in the days before cell phones and electric door knobs.  It was common to find a home that had a bell-pull type door knob; these were typically on the more elaborately decorated homes of the wealthy. It was more likely that you would find a door knocker on a home instead.

Antique Brass Ribbon and Reed Lion Door Knocker

Antique Brass Ribbon and Reed Lion Door Knocker

Depending on your financial status depended on how decorative of a door knocker your home would have, or if you would have one at all.  The wealthier you were, the more decorative the style.  The wealthiest people would generally have a door knocker in the shape of an animal head, with a lion’s head being the most famous and popular ones.  Door knockers like these can be found on some of the most famous buildings throughout the United States as well as the U.K.

Manufactured in Two Sizes - 8 Finishes

Manufactured in Two Sizes - 8 Finishes

The people who came up with the designs for many of the Ribbon and Reed style door knockers have a real eye for detail.  They are exceptional at getting just enough detail in the animal heads while providing just a small amount on the ring.  These items were typically cast in polished brass so they would stand out, but copper and pewter also became popular over the years.

Made from Solid Bronze and Brass

Made from Solid Bronze and Brass

We offer this piece in two sizes – and several different finishes to match the décor of your home.  Antique bronze is the most popular, with the classic polished brass in a close second, followed by the oil rubbed bronze.  As always, we include the mounting hardware for the piece with your order in the same finish you have selected to eliminate the hassle of having to match it from the hardware store, or having to guess what size screw(s) you will need.

Art Deco Push and Pull Door Plates

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     Art Deco is characterized by a linear, hard edge or angular composition, often with a vertical emphasis, and highlighted with stylized decoration (according to Blumenson). Art Deco is an eclectic artistic and design style that began in Paris in the 1920s  and flourished internationally throughout the 1930s, into the World War II era. The style influenced all areas of design, including architecture and interior design, industrial design, fashion and jewelry, as well as the visual arts such as painting, graphic arts and film.

     The Art Deco style has become quite popular in home décor due to its versatility and uniqueness.  The style typically features clean lines and geometric patterns, usually carved into the metal so as to add contrast, or embossed on the surface to help it stand out.   There are several different methods used to create such designs, though creating a mold and pouring molten metal is a popular method, and can be fairly fast to do.  It is especially popular when making pairs of door plates, ensuring that the two pieces will match exactly.

It easy to see the similarities between art deco architecture and art deco interior design. We nick named this plate "The Chrysler".

 

 

     Etching a design into the piece is generally done when a pattern is placed on the solid metal and an acid, or other chemical compound, is used to eat away at the exposed metal.  The result is a design embedded into the metal.  It is not uncommon to have color differences in the metals, allowing the pattern to stand out a little more.  This is especially the case in the push plates featured in bronze and copper.

A brilliant example of the intricate detail that goes into art deco design elements.

 

     Our pieces are available in many different finishes and metals, making it easy to find just the right one for your home or particular room you are decorating.  Art Deco is an especially nice style for decorating, since it is extremely versatile and can match any current décor.  If you prefer your décor to stand out and make a statement, consider perhaps one of the more extravagantly decorated plates.  You can also choose plates in a metal that contrast with the rest of the décor or the color of the doors they are applied to.  Polished brass pieces look brilliant on a white door, and copper pieces on a dark colored wood add just enough color difference to be noticeable.

Written by antiqueswriter

August 1, 2011 at 8:45 am

Victorian Mail Slots

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     Mail slots were once the preferred method of receiving your mail on a daily basis instead of the more modern mailbox that is mounted on a post by the side of the road.  This is especially true in rural areas where the most efficient way to get from building to building is by motorized vehicle.  There are still some areas throughout the country that have mail carriers who deliver on foot, and for locations like these mail slots may still be used.

One of the characteristics of a victorian style mail slot is the intricate design around the edges.

     Many homes, especially restorations, are installing mail slots on their doors to add a sense of whimsy or nostalgia to the home rather than for their functionality.  We have recognized the popularity of these items, and strive to carry a large selection of different kinds of mail slots, so there is at least one choice for every home style.  Mail slots tend to be overlooked on homes in which they are commonly used, but that doesn’t mean they need to be any less decorative.

     The Victorian style tends to be the most decorative in all of its components, from construction of homes and exterior decorations to the little details that can be found on any piece of hardware.  Mail slots are no exception.  While there is an overall design that can be seen, it’s the intricate details that are all along the exterior border that make the biggest difference.  Much time is taken to make sure that the border enhances the piece and draws the eye toward the overall design of the piece, rather than noticing one particular element at a time.

A victorian mail slot with a brushed nickel finish.

   Victorian mail slots are available in a myriad of different finishes, including polished chrome, oil rubbed bronze, polished and antique brass as well as nickel plated.  The antique brass seems to be the most classic and popular option, and really lets the design of the piece to stand out.  We list all the dimensions on our website to ensure that you get the right size mail slot, and include all mounting hardware necessary to complete your project.

Written by antiqueswriter

July 27, 2011 at 9:14 am

Eastlake Cup Pull with Label Holder

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    The Eastlake architectural style can be found all over the world, although it originated in New England in the late 1800’s.  While it is commonly lumped in with the Victorian architectural style, this cannot be further from the truth.  While the Eastlake style came to popularity while the Victorian era was still ending, it has many more unique qualities to it.  The primary components of this style were clean lines and geometric shapes.  Mass production was gaining in popularity, and the recent advances made it possible to duplicate these products on a much larger scale.

Click the image to learn more about various styles and movements in architecture and interior design.

     The Eastlake style is extremely popular in metal accents, especially with drawers, cabinets, and door hinges.  Many of the artists that made this style famous were prone to add decoration and direction to even the most mundane and overlooked pieces, and turned them all into works of art.  Where others failed to add any sort of adornment, Eastlake artisans flourished and took advantage of the blank canvas and made it their own.

 

     This particular example (pictured to the right) is a cup pull with label holder, and was found in offices everywhere.  It took an otherwise bland piece of furniture like a filing cabinet, and turned it into a piece that commanded attention by anyone in the room.  It’s functionality made it even more sought after, and they still are today.  It is an extremely durable piece because of its solid brass construction, which also makes it quite heavy.

 

     This piece is small, and measures less than 5″ high and just over 2″ tall.  All you need is a scrap piece of paper and you’ll have an instant label!  This piece is available in the popular finishes for it’s time: Polished Brass, Antique Brass, and Oil Rubbed Bronze.  These three can be found on most any piece of antique hardware, as well as many modern pieces.  We also include a pair of mounting screws in the same finish.

Written by antiqueswriter

June 29, 2011 at 8:57 am

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

Neoclasscial Architecture

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The Neoclassical architectural style came to be in the mid 18th century in Spain and Poland, and was heavily influenced by classical Greek architecture as well as by Italian architect Andrea Palladino.  Many of the details of the style can be compared to the Rococo style as well as the Late Baroque.  One of the biggest differences between the Neoclassical style and the classic Greek style is the Neoclassical focuses more on the walls, where the Greek prided themselves on their proficiency in chiaroscuro.  Some historians go even further to suggest that this style came about so that architects could embrace the sensitivity of ancient Rome combined with ancient Greek.

This architectural style was a worldwide phenomenon that occurred at more or less the same time throughout the globe, rather than eventually spreading to the United States and Europe.  Many people don’t see the distinction between the High Neoclassical style and the Late Baroque, as they tend to have the same terms associated with them but the High Neoclassical style tends to have more planar qualities than sculptured ones.  All aspects of the former are flatter depth-wise, especially the bas-reliefs.  Where these may be built directly into the wall in a Late Baroque sculpture, they were more often framed in panels, tablets, or friezes in a High Neoclassical one.

Buildings portraying this style can be found all over the globe but some are more popular than others.  The Old Museum in Berlin, one of Karl Friedrich Schinkel’s projects, Sir John Soane’s Bank of England in London are popular European examples.  There are two extremely famous ones in the United States as well; the White House and the Capitol, both in Washington, D.C.

Written by antiqueswriter

June 22, 2011 at 9:31 am

Second Empire Architecture

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     The Second Empire architectural style was named after the French-inspired elements that appeared during the Second French Empire.  The style was at the height of its popularity between 1865 and 1880, and while it was most popular in the United States, a variation can be seen in parts of France where it is called the Napoleon III Style.  The Second Empire style has many elements specific to this time period, but, just like with any other style, some of the elements were influenced by other architectural time periods, like the Gothic Revival and Italianate styles.

     In the United States, the style tends to be portrayed through rectangular towers with a steep mansard roof, which is the most typical of the French style from which it was derived.   Most often, these roof crests have an iron trim, and sometimes they also have decorative lightening rods attached.  The façade of the home is generally composed of wood, brick, or stone, and may also have paired columns.  Most of the floor plans for Second Empire houses fit one of two styles: symmetrical with the tower in the middle or asymmetrical with the tower off to one side.  Just like many things French, the more elaborately decorated and expensive-looking the better!

     While there are a multitude of homes that were constructed in this style during the height of popularity, and most are still standing, the majority of the more well-known buildings are commercial properties, or government ones.  In fact, so many government buildings were constructed during President Grant’s time in office that they were actually said to be created in the “General Grant Style”, rather than the Second Empire.  The reason that so many large buildings were constructed in the Second Empire style is due to the versatility of their size.

 

Written by antiqueswriter

June 15, 2011 at 9:42 am

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