Thursday, April 26, 2012

Vintage Door Knob Love

I have a "thing" for vintage door knobs.  My obsession began years ago when I purchased a set of round clear glass door knobs at a flea market.  One door knob purchase led to another until I had an official hoard on my hands.  Eventually I started making and selling dozens of coat/accessory racks and other crafty creations until this phase passed.  I kept some of my favorites and plan to display them in an uncovered shadow box just as soon as I find the perfect old frame.  For now, they're happy sitting in a tarnished silver bowl.

There's a green one and a purple one and a white one and a yellow one....
Do you have that Little Boxes ticky tacky song stuck in your head now?  Sorry.


Reproductions are always available, but.....

there's nothing like the beautiful patina and charm of the vintage beauties.

The purple knob actually started out clear.  From about 1860 - 1915 manganese was added as a clarifying agent to the glass making process.  When the glass was exposed to sunlight, either naturally or forced, it would eventually turn various shades of lavender or dark purple.

I love all the different patterns, shapes, and patina of brass knobs.

The swirls in the brown marble (two in back) can really vary from knob to knob. 
The knob in the front is Bakelite.  A few years ago I bought several of them from a collector and I couldn't resist keeping just one for myself.

This beautiful gem is my favorite.  An eight sided green glass knob had been on my wish list for ages because  they can get pricey and hard to find in good shape.  Imagine my surprise one Christmas when I opened this gift from my sweet mom.  Call me crazy for getting so excited over a door knob for a Christmas present.  

They don't even have to function.  I just love looking at them.



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38 comments:

Petite Michelle Louise said...

i. want. them. ALL!

Karen Bates said...

OMGosh what a collection!! I adore old knobs and yours are the best I have ever seen...what gems! The purple and the green ones are my favs. I have a few and some are in use on my old doors but this group surpasses even my wildest dreams.

Cheryl said...

What a great collection you have! Love that purple one.
Hope you find that shadow box soon.
Have fun,
Cheryl

Glenda/MidSouth said...

What a pretty collection. The purple and green ones are real treasures.

Michelle L. said...

So gorgeous! I love the gift from your mom - isn't it amazing when someone gets you like that - even if they would be sorely bummed to receive a doorknob for Xmas themselves!

Wax Beach Artist said...

I just had to Pin these doorknobs to my "for the home" board and this is what I said about them...

Don't you just love antique door knobs? I do! When I was a little girl I called the clear ones "diamonds". I was resourceful too because I figured out how to dismantle one from a rental and bring it will me. My Mom could have killed me when she got in trouble from the landlord....lol. Goodtimes!

P.S. It automatically credited your blog. Please let me know if I was wrong to do this. Hugs.

Anne said...

What a great collection.I have always loved these too.Especially the glass.As a child I admired my grandmothers in her home.They are so pretty on a door or on there own.
Anne

Sherry@Back2Vintage said...

Your collection of vintage door knobs is superb!!! I like the green one especially! Great photos, too!!!

Lululiz said...

Darned fine collection!

Kathy said...

Oh Betsy, no explanations required! They are just like huge jewels and i can absolutely understand the appeal. I happen to have just a couple myself but nothing compares to that purple one. Wowza!!

Curtains in My Tree said...

those are so beautiful, love them

I have 4 door knobs , someplace around the studio LOL

Lauren @ My Wonderfully Made said...

These are beautiful -- so interesting about that purple one! This reminded me that my daughter brought me some hand-painted ones back from India that I haven't used! Need to get those out and find a place for them.

Marsha @ Tattered Chick said...

What a lovely collection, Betsy!

I think my collection is rusty hardware. I just find it so beautiful.

Very interesting about the purple knob!!

I don't know how you do these events, Betsy! I think one or two a year will be my limit!

Do I have enough? Will people like what I have?!?! We'll find out, LOL

xoxo

Amber Lyon Ferguson said...

Hello! I am your latest follower! I found you via My Romantic Home. I love your beautiful blog. Stop by and visit me sometime!

Amber
Junkaholics Unanimous

crosstown said...

After reading and looking at your beautiful post. You inspired me to blog about my own knobs! Not nearly as pretty and fancy as your but they are special to me. Thanks for the inspiration

Anne said...

Oh I love that purple one!! (I love them all, but purple just stands out so much!!)

Pam said...

What a lovely collection! It is hard to choose but I think my fav is the purple one. It is fab.

Dragonfly Treasure said...

I have some old door knobs too but nothing as gorgeous as yours!! The colors, the details...I'm in love!
Beautiful collection
*hugs*deb

Dragonfly Treasure said...

I have some old door knobs too but nothing as gorgeous as yours!! The colors, the details...I'm in love!
Beautiful collection
*hugs*deb

Kathryn said...

Oh My! Great post! I have always loved old door knobs and doors and... I have been holding on to a bag of old clear knobs. Is there a good technique to make them shine?
Also, great info/history on the way the purple one. I love history on glass! BTW, if you ever decide to sell the purple one I would so buy it for my sister, it would make her cry! Or, if you have a source that I could find one for her?
LOVE your site!!!
kat

Mitzi said...

You have a lovely collection of doorknobs! I appreciate the same things you do!

LBP said...

How I would love to hold that purple door knob in my hand and look at that color! You have a magnificent door knob collection. they are beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

autena said...

I'm with you on this! These are stunning, especially the glass ones.

Nook and Cranny said...

Let me just say; if I was able to find vintage door knobs to collect I would be a hoarder with a serious problem indeed.
I love, love your collection.
I do have a beauty of a door knob that came from my father-in-law house still in it's package (he was a builder).
Thanks for sharing all of your doorknobs.
Michele

Connie Mercer said...

I totally get that they don't have to function!! These are awesome~we put authentic door knobs in our house~Love them and I loved collecting them!! greart post.

Kelly_Deal said...

Oh what gorgeous door knobs!

Clairejustine said...

Beautiful I love these :)

Linda @ A La Carte said...

They are beautiful and a wonderful collection. I have one old glass door knob and love it! Your purple and green one's are amazing.
hugs, Linda

Thespoena McLaughlin said...

I know what you mean, I love old door knobs too. In fact I'm going tomorrow to pick up a bunch for $2 a set from a couple that just got done refinishing their 1927 home. Can't wait to see what they have!

Tracy said...

Wow, that is a gorgeous collection! I love the brass ones best. In January when I visited my daughter in LA we went to an antique hardware shop full of the old deco brass doorknobs and plates - it was just heavenly!

A Cottage Muse said...

Those are gorgeous!!!!

Stella said...

I have several clear and white knobs but had no idea there were colored ones. The green is beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

Diane Writes said...

Hi Betsy! Before, I was just amazed by your "button porn" :) I mean your buttons collection. Now that you showed me another collection, I am totally mesmerized. I can't imagine the great transformations you will do to each piece.

Tammy at Tammy Loves Dishes said...

These are so gorgeous. What a super collection.

Bohemian said...

I'm so glad to find another Doorknob Hoarder! *Winks* My obsession with them runs deep too and your Collection is outstanding! I have as yet been unable to part with any of mine... or my Hoard of Old Doors. *Winks* Yep... I am officially a Hoarder of Knobs & Doors I suppose! *LOL*

Blessings from the Arizona Desert... Dawn... The Bohemian

The Polka Dot Closet said...

Wow, OK, I love the purple and green one, I have never found any reasonably priced after they became popular, aren't they pretty! Oh ya I get receiving it as a Christmas Present and getting excited!

Carol

Rita said...

Your collection of vintage door knobs is amazing. I have seen a few beautiful ones around but yours are simply the best I have ever seen. I'd stare at them for hours and especially the purple one: a real gem!
rita

poindextr said...

what a beautiful collection Betsy and I can so understand hoarding when it comes to these little pretties :) What a treasure trove!