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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.
In many instances the hardest part of replacing a door knocker is finding a suitable replacement. Matching the finish or style is not so difficult as is matching the mounting methods. There are two common methods of installing a door knocker. Surface mounting and through the door mounting. Both methods use common household tools. Other than that they are distinctly different. First is the surface mount method. This option uses wood screws that pass through the door knocker and into the door. This is the easiest method for replacement. The screws do not have to line up perfectly with the existing holes in the door.
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Urn door knockers can be found that are mounted to the door by one of two methods. One method uses screws that pass through the knocker and screw into the door. The other method uses bolts or other hardware that goes entirely through the door. Either method works well on wooden doors but the through the door method works best on other doors. It seems that I have answered my own question. The urn door knocker is popular for many good reasons the least of which is that they really look great on the entrance way to a home. The selection of a door knocker may be a bit more difficult than you imagine.