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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.
The urn door knocker is versatile and looks good on most modern day homes. It possesses a universal appeal that seems to fit in nicely with most architecture. It is available in many sizes varying from a small 4" height or less to very large 12" high. The size selection would be determined by the doorway that the door knocker is to be mounted on and the budget allowed. Some urn door knockers incorporate eye viewers as these fit in this design well. The eye viewer may be situated at the approximate center of the door knocker or it might be located at the top. When at the top the eye viewer usually replaces the upper installation hardware. The addition of the eye viewer provides the additional safety factor of being able to see who is at your door.
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There is nothing visible on the inside when surface mounting is used. If this is the first installation of a door knocker on this door either method may be used. If you are replacing an existing door knocker that has a through the door mount you will have the existing holes in the door to consider. Is it engraved? What are you going to engrave? Is your purchase engraveable? These questions need to be thought out before you purchase. It is advisable to purchase your door knocker from the same company that is going to engrave it. This way you should receive good advice as to what can be done and for how much money. You must also consider that engraving could damage the surface.