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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.
The first known knockers were made out of wrought iron. These simple ornaments consisted of a thick ring and a plate which were used in the 17th and 18th centuries throughout North America and Europe. Human faces (not ghastly like Jacob Marley) an animal faces were popular designs that are still used today. The craftsmanship on some of these knockers was elaborate enough to compare to the most-polished sculpture. Basically the purpose is to save the knuckles of visitors. Although they mainly serve as decoration they are still made of brass pewter iron or stainless steel to be durable enough to withstand outdoor elements. Plus they must be heavy enough to make a sound when they are tapped against a door. Cast iron styles have been favorites for a long time for their simplicity and sturdiness. They are also good for complimenting a Western theme. Pewter is another popular material.
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If lacquered or plated the engraving process can cut through and expose the base metal below. An engraved door knocker should be engraved before the plating or lacquering process. A door knocker makes a wonderful gift or is a great addition to your own home. Careful shopping and little research will go a long way in getting the best value. Are you about to replace an older doorknocker with a new one? Perhaps you are looking for a different style or finish. In any case shopping for a door knocker can be a frustrating task. There is not only the choice of style and finish you must match or cover the impressions and holes left from the previous one.