Dating antique door knobs

Reading Emblematic and Fraternal These were customized knobs for buildings including but not restricted to schools, government buildings, hotels, businesses and the like. The photo is a Knights of Columbus knob with inlaid enamel. Russwin Wooden Obviously these knobs were made of wood.

They were carved, turned or pressed.

Vintage Glass Door Knobs | eBay

Some are smooth and others have designs. Many different shapes; very common in the s Composition knobs of silica diatite, composed of clays and vegetable material; hemicite, containing an original blood ingredient; celluloid, combinations of sawdust and shellac, etc.

This knob is made of shellac and pressed sawdust Porcelain ceramic, earthen ware, pottery and china knobs. Are also fully designed as in the picture.


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This knob has its own rose to connect it to the door Paperweight These knobs are made of glass and have colored glass imbedded within. Representative knobs with recognizable designs of animals, people, or objects on them. Asymmetric knobs with a single overall design on the surface. Odd Shaped These knobs are generally not the round knob that you generally think of. Field or Diaper knobs with an overall pattern that does not fit into another description.

Resources for Antique Doorknob Identification

Spirals and Swirls These knobs are just what they say. Twofold knobs having an identical pattern that is repeated only once.

Vintage Glass Door Knobs

Threefold the same pattern is repeated three times. Fourfold Perhaps the most common of formats, the image appears four times on the knob.

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Fivefold less popular format. A pattern repeated five times on the knob. Sixfold Again, the pattern is repeated six times. Eightfold pattern repeated eight times. Radial Symmetry Note the pattern emanates from the center outward to the edge of the knob. One of the most interesting things about antique doorknob identification is that the experienced collector can tell the difference between a doorknob belonging to a commercial building and one belonging to a residence.

This is especially so for doorknobs from the Victorian era, when architects had doorknobs designed to compliment the style of the building they were creating. The hardware might be inspired by Moorish, French or Medieval influences, or perhaps carries the seal of the city or the building's monogram. Companies that owned commercial buildings often had their initials intricately carved on the doorknobs themselves, as part of the design.

An example of this is the intricate StN woven into the design of the doorknobs of the St.

Nicholas Hotel, built at the height of the Golden Age in The knob is slightly oval, with a beaded design enclosing the initials. A Celtic knot type woven design encircles the outside edge of the knob.

Vintage Glass Door Knobs

As part of the historical restoration the guest rooms were each fitted with doorknobs that were original to the hotel, and had been lovingly restored. The doorknobs still bear the Grand Trunk monogram. There are many more antique doorknobs that have unusual and beautiful designs and monograms that may be difficult to trace.

Large apartment buildings, hotels, and even banks, often used a design particular to their company. While one might be able to identify a percentage of these, some are impossible to trace but can be enjoyed for their unique beauty.

The first doorknobs, in Colonial times, were made from wood and purely utilitarian. By the Revolutionary War doorknobs on important homes had become round is shape. Until the Centennial Exposition in approximately 95 percent of knobs and door hardware were being imported. After this, the American manufacturers began manufacturing knobs and hardware of all types and designs.

Because of this, the design of the doorknob can give you a clue to its age:. Between and there were more than patents granted for knobs.