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Pay close attention to what the door knocker is made of. Some manufacturers get away with making low quality zinc or pot metal castings look good for a short time using plating techniques. The problem with these is the good looks do not last. Soon the plating is chipping and pealing away and corrosion is taking over. What type of mounting is needed? Most door knockers employ either through the door mounting or surface mounting. Through the door mounting involves drilling holes through the door. The mounting hardware passes through these holes and attaches to the door knocker on the outside. On the inside decorative nuts are used to secure the door knocker to the door. Surface mounting uses screws to attach the door knocker to the door.
This will include determining the center to center distance (space between the holes) and selecting a knocker with this same measurement. By doing this there will not be a need to re-drill the door for a new knocker. Choosing a knocker is a very personal experience and there is no right or wrong choices. Pay attention to size and choose a knocker that will look appropriate on your door. If you are unsure it is a great idea to cut out a piece of paper that is the same height and width of the knocker you are thinking of using and tape it against the door (actual shape does not need to be cut out).
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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.