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Sunday, October 11, 2009

Sunday Favorite -- Bedknobs and Broomsticks. No, Actually . . . Bedknobs and Doorknobs!

It's Sunday, and time to recycle a favorite post from the distant past. Or not so distant! My recycled post dates from February 11, 2009, and is about the old doorknobs and rimlocks in That Old House. I hope you enjoy it!


Chari, of Happy To Design, hosts the Sunday Favorites blog party,
and you can click here to fly over there and see what other bloggers are recycling today!

(From February 11, 2009)

In That Old House, I find magic in something as simple as the doorknobs, all of them worn smooth from the touches of so many, many hands.

The doors mostly have black or white porcelain in the "newer" part of the house, built in the 1880s, and the original iron rimlocks work pretty well, although we don't lock them; there are no keys!

This closet door is in the yellow guest room. I'm not sure what the knob is made of. Brass? Some sort of metal, but I can't tell what. Where's a magnet when you need one? The back of the knob is a simple brass lever.

In the ca. 1830s section, the doorknobs are a beautiful tortoiseshell-look design, of some sort of porcelain or glass -- deeply swirled -- and the black iron rimlocks are larger on these older doors:

This one, above, is on the door at the foot of our attic stairs. Such a beautiful doorknob -- it is like sculpture -- and it seems wasted on the seldom-used attic stairs. I guess 176 years ago, these knobs were commonplace.

Years ago, someone must have gotten tired of the common tortiseshell knobs, and replaced them with spiffier numbers on the door into the pink guest room. On the hall side, there is an old porcelain rose-painted knob, the design on its edges worn nearly off by decades of hands.

A small brass knob at the top of the cellar stairs is worn and dented
by long years of use. (We haven't painted here yet. Don't look!)

The cellar door is cleverly made; if you open it fully, it will also latch across the back of the center hall, closing off the front hall from the kitchen. An early means of energy conservation.

No one lived "greener" lives than people long ago.

More knobs... here's a tiny white one, on an old window lock upstairs in the pink guest room. Can you see that the window glass is fun-house wavy? No, guess not, espescially with the screen in the way.

And about those bedknobs . . . this bed is in the yellow guest room. It's a low post, and the posts are hand turned. Each of the posts is very slightly different in size from its peers. We have had this bed for 30 years, since we lived in Pittsburgh and were lucky enough to know some fine antiques dealers.

This bedknob is harder to photograph. Too tall. It's a rice-carved 4-poster in the pink guest room. It's perhaps 30 years old, and was one of my recent Craigslist bargains. It's got enough age to look interesting, but it's not at all an antique. It would look gorgeous painted old white, but I don't have the nerve to do that.

So now you know we have guest rooms.
And for our guests, a door bell, on the front porch next to the door:

Now that is a real door bell. I love how someone added washers under the screws. There must have been a whole lot of door-bell-ringing once upon a time, to loosen them!

If you visit, ring loudly and often. . . .

and here's the door we'll open for you, with its old brass doorknob. At least, I think it is brass. Where is that magnet?


  1. I just love all the door knobs they are just so wonderful, I think my favorite one is the glass one, it is so chic, what a wonderful idea to put them all on the blog, genius..thanks for sharing

  2. Love the knob with the flower on it, and the scrolly metal hanger on the wall
    great knobs.

    barbara jean

  3. Love all the old door knobs. And now that we know you have guest rooms, can I come stay with you? I'll bring a magnet.

  4. Those doorknobs are beautiful! And I love the doorbell. I love the fact that you have so many different styles!

    Have a wonderful Sunday!

  5. I love every single one! I;ll have to show our doorbell one these post days!

  6. What a great post! I love old door knobs and you sure have a variety in your old house!

  7. Of course the glass one is my favorite but the crank on the window ledge is pretty cool too.
    Hey don't forget my Writer's Challenge started today. Link in.

  8. Thanks for sharing. I really like the tortoise shell one and the glass one. I was thinking not long ago that I would love to replace some of the door knobs here (have the old standard tacky whatever). But I have to many other things on the "to do" list. Have a great Sunday.

  9. How did I MISS this post back in February????? And yet - - - I don't believe I've ever seen it before, so I MUST have missed it.

    I LOVE all your door knobs. We lived in a house once that had glass door knobs and our kids called them diamonds.

  10. I have a THING for old doorknobs!
    Do you have any idea what you could GET for those now???!!!
    Of course I'd Never let them go!

  11. Love the door knobs. I think the "tortoise" ones are Bennington!


  12. My favorite knob was the third one down. Don't you just love the details!
    And such a beautiful bell hanging. :o) I love the "old" touches.

  13. Hello Cass...

    Loved seeing all of your pretty door knobs and bed posts! I especially like the old glass knobs...they're awesome!!! Ohhh, and I've never seen a tortoise knob...that one is really beautiful!!! Thank you so much for sharing all of your pretties with us today for Sunday Favorites...loved this post!!!

    Girlfriend, my honey is sitting right here next to me a hard time! Kept saying..."Oh yea, I threw out a bunch of old door knobs like that"! Just down right mean..I tell ya! Hehe! Of course, he wasn't serious...or better knob have been!!! wink!

    Have a super Sunday, my friend!

  14. Quite a variety and so beautiful! Love the doorknobs!

  15. I enjoyed looking at your doorknob collection! - now for a fall picture of your house in the header:)

  16. I loved your tour of doorknobs. Just love old things and to have them in your house must be a treat. I once had a set of french doors moved from NY to CT and they had glass doorknobs on both sides that had aged and turned a lovely purple. I wish we could have taken them with us but we had them built into our house and had to leave them.


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