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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.
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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These home pieces were especially the rave during medieval periods until the 18th and early 19th centuries. Sadly these iconic home pieces have now been replaced by the electric doorbell; however they are still valued pieces especially when it comes to designing homes the traditional and old-school way. Traditional door knockers come in varied shapes and sizes and are sold in different price ranges as well. Its a historical fact that a homes doorways and entrances aid in defining the architectural flavor and style of the whole structure and any special treatment or addition to these areas of the home will surely help in setting a house apart from the rest of the neighbors.