"In the end, it's not the years in your life that count, it's the life in your years." - Abraham Lincoln

Posted on May 21, 2017 by Sioux under General
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Door knockers are often ornate, but may also be no more than a simple fitting with a metal bob or ring. In any part of England and you could often come across Victorian or Georgian houses still with the original door knocker. A door knocker has a part fixed to the door (usually metal) which is attached to the door by a hinge, and may be lifted and used to strike either the door itself, or a plate which is fitted to the door, making a noise. 

For the visitor it is their first contact with the house and a way of communicating their arrival by lifting the knocker and rapping it smartly against its back plate. The fact that many Georgian houses have door knockers that are the originals gives a palpable, physical connection to people from past generations and from all classes of a past society. A lot of door knockers are made from brass; but some are iron, which can be aggressive and harsh; it can rust and have unfriendly qualities. Brass has a golden lustre when polished and expresses wealth, a friendly glow and a welcoming feel. It is a malleable metal and has acoustic properties. The brass door knocker on a Georgian front door can almost be regarded as a percussion instrument, where the solid wooden door is the drum skin and the entrance hall behind it is the chamber within which the sound resonates and vibrates.

The servants belonging to a Georgian household                                      would not have used the doorknocker of their own house. They would have used a flight of stone steps near the front gate, leading to the servant’s quarters in the basement. However a footman or servant sent with a message or communication from another household would have used the front door knocker. The owners of the house would have knocked to alert their footman to open the door to them and their friends would have knocked to gain entrance too.

The way the door is knocked can express emotions like haste, frustration, timidity or confidence; but whatever it is; door knockers are still a fascinating piece of door furniture. 

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