First impressions are important: a handshake, eye contact, and a smile. Standing at a front door, consider the doorbell versus the door knocker. The knocker is the traditional handprint of, “Is anyone home?”
A door knocker can be a perfunctory ornament mass-produced, or it can represent a more intimate personality of the homeowner. Lifting and knocking can be as light as a tap or as heavy as a rock, a brass to brass or iron to iron chime. On average, most individuals do not put much thought into this part of their door, but why not be an exception?
The door knocker of Elsie Owens and her late husband, Jimmy, is a love story. Upon becoming engaged, they decided to design and build a home together. The details of the house were carried out by Architect Henry Boykin, of Boykin & Munnerlyn in Camden, but Jimmy surprised Elsie at Christmas with an elegant lion head knocker with a circular, reed-patterned ring ready to lift – the first purchase for their home and one they would treasure. It was a perfect surprise and made a handsome entrance detail. It was so special to Elsie that when she moved recently, she used it on the door of her new home as a special memory of Jimmy and their happy years together.
Suzie and Mitch Kiser love the coast of South Carolina and spend a great deal of time at Pawleys Island and in Charleston, Suzie’s hometown. They purchased their door knocker online, a brass crafted oyster shell. It is the ideal artistic nod to Suzie’s coastal heritage to all who enter. They have also taken this knocker with them as they have moved.
Clearly, door knockers with a history can be a very meaningful detail to the homeowner. Sherrerd Hartness recently gave a friend a unique one from her late father’s antique shop, One Thousand Gervais, due to his friendship with her late grandfather. Sherrerd has never seen another like it and imagines her parents acquired it in Europe on one of their many buying trips. It is a treasure both because of the provenance and its grand, whimsical design.
Some even have knockers designed and hand hammered for a one of a kind jewel that hails to individuality and creativity. Look around and note these door ornaments in your neighborhood — a story probably goes with every noteworthy rapper.
Perhaps this Christmas is a good time to reflect and research this additional doorway design element that may have been overlooked. Make an announcement when you strike—“Knock, knock, who’s there?”