Seasonal Greetings

I will start with a picture of my own decoration on my door. Before this year it has hung alone on my door but this year my door knocker is there and it doesn’t sit so well. As I am toying with the idea of a new door this coming year I am not going to worry too much

Last weekend I was out and about in Cambridgeshire and I spotted some lovely knocker and wreath combinations

I love the cheeky little pear knocker, first I have seen. Seen in Cambridge

I will let you into a secret, I don’t like this shape of knocker. It’s a very popular shape and I never take pictures of it but doesn’t it look better surrounded by a wreath? Also Cambridge

Hard to see but there is an Ely knocker hidden in this frosted wreath. I was visiting my friend Leonie who knows of my interest in knockers and was happy to look at local examples as we walked and talked.

Easier to spot this brass anchor in this one, also Ely.

A little closer to home, a splash of colour in Braunston, Northamptonshire

The other day I was reading a blog called www.spitalfieldslife.com and they had posted some artwork by a artist called Julie Price. I was excited to see several pictures of Spitalfield knockers with wreaths, and she has kindly permitted me to post them here. You can find them and others on her website www.passionforpaint.net

A proud festive lion

A seasonal hand of Fatima

Ornate and Christmassy

Out of action

Sometimes you can see damaged knockers or obvious missing bits

Nothing to hang on to in Weedon Bec, Northamptonshire

I wonder how this lost a chunk

Daventry, Northamptonshire

If you zoom in on the knocker for this unused entrance in Arundel, West Sussex you’ll see it has lost half of the ring

Solo knobs

Knobs are usually found on their own, so there are a lot of solo knobs here, along with a couple of matching knob and knocker sets

We’ll start with this chunky brass lion, sent to me by my friend Leonie who spotted him in Ely, Cambridgeshire. Eagle-eyed knob-lovers might spot that he is similar but not identical to one of the pairs shared in the last post

one of the London pair

This is a lovely shape, from Diss, Norfolk

A subtle pattern on this one from Southwold, Suffolk

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I love the intricacies of this one, found in London

I would say that this rather impressive knob in Leicester was more Arts and Crafts in style than Art Nouveau

Leicester is full of knobs, here’s another example

The door handle on the former grammar school in Daventry, Northamptonshire

How about a matching set?

These were from Kilsby, Northamptonshire

These were from Diss, Norfolk

And this set from Brinklow, Warwickshire

Nice pair

So far we’ve had a fair number of knockers but not so many knobs. To remedy this I am going to have a couple of posts with some knobs, this one has pairs and the next will be single knobs.

Both of these pairs of knobs were found on the same street in London.

From Leicester, possibly a former bank

Sometimes it is hard to know if they are knobs, knockers or handles!

On a visit to Wells, Somerset this summer I saw a couple of knockers on adjacent properties. The house are very close to the cathedral and the identical knockers have been given very different treatments. I am not sure which I prefer, both are appealing.

Part of a terrace of 5 or 6 fairly substantial but slightly different houses (possibly Georgian) only the last two have these knockers. The others are dull and generic in comparison. Did all the houses have them once, I wonder? Were the occupants connected to the cathedral, or maybe the builder just bought a job lot, I will never know.

These are a fine pair from Woodstock, Oxon

This very ornate pair were in the vicinity of the Guildhall, London

And finally if you are a fan of The Labyrinth my friend Mark alerted me to these. If you are feeling rich you can buy them from the link below but sadly I don’t think they will talk like the originals.

https://www.bigbadtoystore.com/Product/VariationDetails/87324

The lion share

Particularly popular in the Georgian and Victorian eras the lion head door knocker can be found all over the UK, from 10 Downing Street to the smallest flat. The lion’s head symbolises strength and courage, maybe the person using it might gain some from lifting the ring?

Leamington Spa, Warwickshire

This fine example has the ring around the head rather than held in the mouth

Weedon Bec, Northamptonshire

This appears to be a modern example of almost the same design

Liverpool

Not quite as fancy but still imposing

St Andrews, Scotland

Towcester, Northamptonshire

Sometimes you aren’t sure if he’s a lion or a bit devilish, see how they have made his ears fit

Bridport, Dorset

Here’s another one with a certain look to him

Leamington Spa, Warwickshire

There are so many different types of lion

Berwick-upon-Tweed

This is more like a dog with his laurel wreath rather than a ring

Bridport, Dorset

Bridport, Dorset

This was on a fairly humble home

Northamptonshire

Whereas this was on a side door at Lamport Hall

Daventry, Northamptonshire

This is a very modern lion about town

Weedon Bec, Northamptonshire

Whereas these chaps have seen better days

Inverness, Scotland

See how the door has been altered to accommodate his mane

The lion is popular in other places too, I found these fine fellows when I was in Cartagena, Colombia

Cartagena, Colombia

The shell is something I haven’t seen elsewhere

Kraków, Poland

Finally we have a fine lion knob to end with

London

Hand over fist

There is usually something a little strange about disembodied hands (or arms or legs or other extremities). My husband has a habit of managing to sleep with one arm thrust under his pillow and a hand dangling over my head. Many a time I have been alarmed at the sight or touch of this disembodied hand in the night! Thankfully though I am not disturbed by knockers with hands.

Alcúdia, Mallorca

The little hand clutching a ball (or occasionally an apple) is called The hand of Fatima. A symbol of protection, it is a common door knocker in Mediterranean countries but originated in Muslim countries where Fatima was the Prophet’s daughter. This ancient symbol was called Miriam’s hand in the Jewish faith. Sometimes the hand wears a ring or two, sometimes a cuff or bracelet. There are some that are flat and very stylised, hardly recognisable as hands at all.

Axminster, Devon

Cromer, Norfolk

Other hands on your knockers (sorry, I can’t help myself) include what I think of ‘hand and laurel’ but apparently is actually called “The Wellington”.

Bridport, Dorset

Apparently the creation of it has been credited to a London ironmonger called David Bray in 1814, celebrating the Duke of Wellington’s victories in Spain and Portugal. The hand of the “immortal hero” grasps a field Marshall’s baton and a wreath of victory. Until I read about it on Shannon Selin’s wonderful blog post about its history I hadn’t really noted the lion at the base, which apparently represents British valour overpowering tyranny.

Ipswich, Suffolk

Call the marines

Fish door knocker in Lavenham, Suffolk

Here’s a lovely selection of marine-themed door knockers. There are some repeat designs and some that must surely be unique

Fish door knocker in Lavenham, Suffolk

These two are the same design and by coincidence both are not in seaside locations

Fish door knocker in Woodstock, Oxfordshire

Fish door knocker in Woodstock, Oxfordshire

A chunky trident-tailed example

Crab door knocker in Cromer, Norfolk

A crab, adorning a door in a seaside town famous for crab

Fish door knocker in Lindisfarne, Northumberland

Rather stylised fish on this island door

Fish door knocker in Portsoy, Scotland

Spyglass knocker in Southwold, Suffolk

Which came first, the spyglass knocker or the name of the house(also spyglass, if you hadn’t guessed)?

Mermaid door knocker in Southwold, Suffolk

On the door next to the Nelson pub

It looks like this could be a double knock, tail the head. Of course I couldn’t have tried it out people think I am strange enough taking photos, imagine if I started knocking them as well

Fish door knocker in Southwold, Suffolk

A bit blurry, sorry. The pavement was very narrow and there were many tourists

Ship’s wheel door knocker in Southwold, Suffolk

Maybe the captain lives here?

Anchor door knocker in Southwold, Suffolk

their safe port

Ship in sail door knocker in Brinklow, Warwickshire

another landlocked example.

The first catch

Fish door knocker

Though I love my fish door knocker this is the one I really wanted to find when I started my search. This is the first fish knocker I ever snapped and was exactly what I wanted from a fish knocker (something I had never even realised I wanted until seconds before I took this last year in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire).

I have since seen quite a few marine-themed knockers, so maybe that should be the theme of my next post

Norton, Northamptonshire

Fish Knocker
Fish Knocker, Northamptonshire.

My fish door knocker, Northamptonshire

Why door knockers?

It seems logical to start a new blog about door knockers with my very own door knocker. Meet the little brass fish who lives on our front door. He has a cheerful smile that can’t quite been seen until you pick him up to use him and he is loose in his movement, wobbling more than he probably should.

He isn’t exactly the fish knocker I really wanted. When I decided that it had to be a fish door knocker I discovered that there weren’t actually many fish door knockers available (especially when you live in the middle of the country, hours from the seaside). All the ones I found were a bit same-y with of dolphins which were nice but weren’t really what I was looking for. Eventually I found this little fella on eBay, hand-made in India and located there too. Less than £18 and a surprisingly swift 5 days later he was mine.

But why door knockers?!

Yeah I don’t really know why. My husband and friends might be walking and talking before suddenly realising that they have lost me, I have stopped to look and photograph some knocker or knob.

All I know is I get excited by seeing unusual door furniture and when I started sharing the pictures on Instagram it seemed other people liked them too. So I decided to group them together instead.