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I find them fascinating historically as well as artistically. Over time many common designs have evolved. Some designs have turned out to be more popular than others. The urn style is among these. The ornaments and patterns have changed but the basic shape has remained. It has always interested me as to what made the classic urn style so well liked. The look does sort of resemble an ancient urn but in reality it does not really look much like one. In contemporary times people have little relation the urn with the exception of a burial container following cremation. What then makes the urn shape so popular for a door knocker? There are varying versions of the ascendance of the design. It is said that the classic urn shape has its origins in the Grecian or Victorian times.
Furthermore the chrome devices have a more modern look and feel to them making them a popular choice for newer houses across the country as apposed to the traditional look of black iron door knockers. In what is perhaps the most famous scene from Charles Dickens A Christmas Carol Ebenezer Scrooge receives a dreadful fright from his departed partner Jacob Marley. When the rich old curmudgeon reaches for his door knocker it takes the form of the dead mans face for a brief moment. It serves as a frightening preview of the ghosts that haunt Scrooge throughout the night. Although its one of the most famous literary scenes involving a knocker it wouldnt work today.
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The most common designs during these times were of human and animal faces and the workmanship of the early iron door knockers were so elaborate that they could be compared with the most-polished sculptures. The main objective of a door knocker is to let the residents of a house know that someones in the door as well as save the knuckles of visitors from being bruised or blemished. Some were crafted for decorative purposes and the most common designs were made of iron pewter brass or stainless steel. These were made to withstand all outdoor elements as well as to remain durable for years.