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The metal is actually an alloy (two or more metals mixed together); usually containing 85-99% tin and the rest copper. Lower-grade pewter has a bluish color because lead is also added. Although there is little practical use for the metal today its still a popular material for decorative objects because it is easy to produce while retaining an elegant texture.Copper is renowned for its ability to withstand the natural elements; it is the only material that doesnt rust. Instead it oxidizes - which means it forms a unique green cover when exposed to oxygen (think of the statue of liberty). Besides aging gracefully copper doesnt physically deteriorate unlike other metals. The oxidation layer makes the metal stronger which reduces the need to replace any door knockers made out of copper.
Knockers were common and practical in Dickens era but theyve since become replaced by the electric doorbell as the standard alert. Some people use them as decorative ornaments but unlike the knockers from the mid-1800s they serve no practical purpose. Doorways and entrances help define the architectural style of the rest of the structure and any elegance bestowed upon them sets a house apart from its neighbors. While the porch is a gathering place a quality door knocker is the focal point of the entryway. Door knockers dont have a written history but as long as there have been doors there have been alerts that signal a visitor.
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This is also true of gargoyles which have similar caricatured faces in order to prevent spirits and ghosts from entering the house. There were also good luck knockers which were thought to have magical or healing properties and were used to encourage good luck into the home. These door knockers utilized a motif of good luck charms such as horse-shoes stars suns and flowers. The popular hand shaped knocker is often seen in Muslim countries and was believed to symbolize the Hand of Fatima which protected the house from evil. It was also thought to indicate that the occupants of that house were followers of the Muslim faith.