Your Best Choice For Authentic Victorian Door Hardware
Offered is a large variety of original antique hardware. You will find many unusual styles, specializing in rare figural patterns. Most of the higher quality antique hardware was made of cast bronze and dates from c.1860 to 1910.
At this time there are still many different hardware patterns available. Also offered are complete sets of antique door hardware, in both passage and entry size, along with some of the finest sets of restored antique pocket door hardware available. Most are very ornate and in fine condition, ready for another 100 years of use.
When collecting, I tried to purchase items in the best condition, with the least amount of wear, that either caught my eye or that I thought looked unusual. I also have for sale some hard to find antique hardware that seldom becomes available. Once these pieces are sold, it will likley be awhile, if ever, for another to re-surface.
When buying the original antique hardware which was proudly made in the U.S.A. during our Victorian period, you will be purchasing some of the finest hardware ever produced.
Back in the day, hardware companies were highly competitive to out-do their competitor to make the better hardware. Most was intricately carved into molds by an artist then compressed from bronze. The construction of the piece was precisely made by master craftsman's who's pride in making the finest product possible was more important than the cost to make the product. As a result the hardware was made to last and had unsurpassed detail, many pieces could actually be compared to fine jewelry. Due to age, much of the hardware has developed beautiful multi shades of patina, which is now highly desirable.
Most repro. hardware doesn't even compare to the original, for the most part it's light weight, crude, shiny copies that have lost most all of the finer details. The original items will bring you years of beauty, probably outlast the repro's, and will be a reminder of our remarkable craftsmanship when quality surpassed quantity.
A little history on antique hardware...
In the 1870's it was discovered that by using a new method in the construction of architectural hardware, called "compression", companies were able to produce extremely high quality items with incomparable detail. Combine this with outstanding designers of the times, and you'll find that this late Victorian - turn of the century period produced some of the finest doorknobs and door trimmings ever made.
It was common for a hardware company to design and make logos and symbols for an individual or place of business. The US government and individual state governments had many hardware items custom made for their major buildings. For example, the symbol for the "Scales of Justice" was incorporated into the doorknobs and plates that were designed for the Treasury Department.
Many Fraternal organizations had their own custom made designs. Much of the time, only the members of the organizations would know what these figural symbols meant, due to their well kept secrets. There was even competition between the different Fraternal organizations to have the better hardware.
Figural designs are highly sought after by collectors, historians, and those restoring buildings. Some are very rare. Prices reflect the rarity and condition of the item. A few examples include heads of soldiers, past Presidents, State and County seals, prominent men and women, schools, and a variety of animals, including some amazing mythological creatures.