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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.
Be aware that this very often is not the case. Remember that if your door knocker is solid brass is may be easier to simply refinish the existing one. Choosing a chrome door knocker for your home should be a personal experience. Your taste and personal preference must reflect on the style and design of your preferred door knockers. Always remember that knockers is the most beautiful and prominent pieces found in every homes and could create a different look in your entryway. Sometimes it also give hints to your visitors if what are they going to expect inside.
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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.