Door knockers have been in use for centuries, from elaborate Georgian designs of Grecian goddesses to lion heads and more simple ring designs. Their popularity only waned with the introduction of the electric doorbell.
The knocker’s material and finish is key to identifying the period it belongs to: black-painted cast iron was common in Georgian times, but was then replaced largely by polished brass in the Victorian era.
Reclaimed knockers are a fantastic choice, but if buying new avoid shiny brass versions. Mellow antique brass finishes and black cast-iron knockers appear more authentic.
Door knockers look best mounted centrally, at head height, on a muntin.
This doctor’s knocker from Cast In Style comes from a design reputed to have been used on many physicians’ front doors, and is made from malleable iron. Also available in bronze, nickel and brass finishes, it costs £57.71
The Florentine numbered door knocker from Snobs Knobs & Posh Knockers has an enamelled numberplate available in blue, black, racing green or maroon, £83.99
Broughtons’ hand-forged pear-shaped knocker, finished in beeswax, is suitable for a front door which is protected by an enclosed porch, £41
This classic ring knocker, in a polished chrome finish, costs £32.50 from IronmongeryDirect
Jim Lawrence’s charming Heart door knocker is made of hand-forged steel and available as polished (shown), matt black and gloss black, £56.60
Louis Fraser’s classic lion head knocker in antique pewter, £44.63 + VAT
Willow & Stone’s Regency-style door knocker is a small-proportioned and very pretty brass model with an aged, nickel-plated finish, £85
This intricately detailed brass Dragonfly door knocker is hinged at the end of the tail. It costs £26 from The Door Knocker Company
A Solid Brass Horse Shoe Door Knocker is a country classic, £31 from Black Country Metalworks
A heavy polished brass ring evokes stately grandeur, £33 from John Lewis
This ornate door embellishment, £12, is from The Orchard at Not on the High Street
Made from iron, the clever Kirkpatrick fox head knocker by Door Furniture Direct is £47.62
Grace & Glory’s lion’s head design, £48.75, has an aged brass finish for a salvaged look
- Period character guide: door and window furniture
- How to restore your front door
- How to maintain windows and doors in period homes
Jim Lawrence’s Melton door knocker, £56.60, is made of solid antiqued brass for longevity