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Origins of door knockers A door knocker is an item of door furniture that allows people outside a house to alert those inside to their presence. It has a part fixed to the door and a part (usually metal) which is attached to the door by a hinge that is lifted and used to strike a plate fitted to the door making a noise. The strike plate if present would be supplied and fitted with the knocker. Door knockers are often ornate but may be no more than a simple fitting with a metal bob or ring. Many older period houses and mansions often have intricate knockers in the shape of human heads or mythical beasts. The earlier designs were based on statues that would stand in front of ancient Greek houses. These statues were created with distorted grotesque features and were thought to be used to ward of malignant spirits and witches.
There is nothing visible on the inside when surface mounting is used. If this is the first installation of a door knocker on this door either method may be used. If you are replacing an existing door knocker that has a through the door mount you will have the existing holes in the door to consider. Is it engraved? What are you going to engrave? Is your purchase engraveable? These questions need to be thought out before you purchase. It is advisable to purchase your door knocker from the same company that is going to engrave it. This way you should receive good advice as to what can be done and for how much money. You must also consider that engraving could damage the surface.
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If not a larger washer will usually do the trick. If the replacement door knocker BC dimension is not even close one of the existing holes can be used but the second matching hole must be drilled through the door for the mounting. This leaves the other previous hole to cover up. If puttying and repainting is not an option I have used a third mounting hardware bolt and epoxy it into the unused hole. This gives the appearance on the inside that three bolts are used on this door knocker. This looks natural and is easy to do. The outside portion of the hole is covered by the door knocker but should still be filled with putty to prevent future problems with moisture. With a little luck you will find a matching door knocker.