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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.
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.
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In olden times there were two different hand-knockers one male and one female as it was considered inappropriate for the woman of the house to open the door to a man. Visitors would use the knocker according to their gender. Each knocker would make a different sound so the woman of the house would know whether or not she should open the door. These gender-based knockers have become less popular in modern times. Door knockers have been used to symbolize everything from hospitality to good luck to warding off bad spirits. With recent ironmongery technology more iconic door knockers can be made by twisting the metal into intricate designs.