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Door Bells & Knockers

Door bells and knockers, usually made of metal, are used by visitors outside a house or building to signal their presence to those inside the structure. As the first object to be touched and seen up close by guests, door bells and knockers have the potential to create a striking first impression.

In Ancient Pompeii, door knockers were often decorated with the head of a gorgon, a Greek mythological creature with hair made of living, venomous snakes and eyes that turned beholders into stone. Door knockers were often used to impress guests, suggesting the wealth and nobility of the owner. For example, in Medieval and Renaissance Europe, brass door knockers decorated with the face of a grand, menacing lion were popular decorative items. These objects were usually quite detailed with vivid expressions and large, engrossing eyes. In late 19th- and early 20th-century America, furniture manufacturers, such as Gustave Stickley, used a different approach, designing simple, yet elegant, door knockers praised for their craftsmanship.

Today, many houses are outfitted with electric door bells, but many homeowners prefer the individuality and craftsmanship of handmade door bells and knockers. A variety of unique pieces made from brass and other precious metals is available at auction.


Quick Facts

  • On October 10, 2000, Christie’s London sold an 11th-century Spanish Islamic door knocker for $2,078,938
  • The front door at 10 Downing Street, the office of the British Prime Minister, is outfitted with a lion-head door knocker. The brass piece, which was created in the 1780s and painted black, is one of the most famous and well- known door knockers in the world
  • Greek gorgon door knockers served an apotropaic function, warding off evil spirits and unwelcome visitors

Recommended Items at Auction

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A BRASS DOOR KNOCKER.
Sep 28, 10:30 AM BST
A BRASS DOOR KNOCKER.
by John Nicholson's Fine Art Auctioneers & Valuers
Est: £80- £120
£701 Bid
A Solid Bronze Figural Door Knocker (L:16cm)
Sep 29, 10:00 AM AEST
A Solid Bronze Figural Door Knocker (L:16cm)
by Lawsons
Est: AUD100- AUD200
AUD501 Bid
Vintage Avon door knocker shaped award pin
Oct 03, 11:30 PM EDT
Vintage Avon door knocker shaped award pin
by Baker's Antiques and Auctions
Est: $35- $40
$250 Bids
BRASS DOOR KNOCKER
Sep 29, 10:00 AM IST
BRASS DOOR KNOCKER
by Sheppards
Est: €40- €60
€200 Bids
19TH-CENTURY CAST IRON DOOR KNOCKER
Sep 29, 10:00 AM IST
19TH-CENTURY CAST IRON DOOR KNOCKER
by Sheppards
Est: €100- €150
€600 Bids
VICTORIAN BRASS DOOR KNOCKER
Sep 29, 10:00 AM IST
VICTORIAN BRASS DOOR KNOCKER
by Sheppards
Est: €30- €50
€100 Bids
Brass Door Knockers, Two, H 7", 8" "Hand" And Eagle
Oct 12, 11:00 AM EDT
Brass Door Knockers, Two, H 7", 8" "Hand" And Eagle
by DuMouchelles
Est: $100- $150
$500 Bids
ANTIQUE MEDUSA BRONZE DOORKNOCKER
Oct 02, 11:00 AM EDT
ANTIQUE MEDUSA BRONZE DOORKNOCKER
by Americana Auctions
Est: $300- $500
$1500 Bids
Lot of Three Antique Doorknobs
Oct 02, 3:00 PM PDT
Lot of Three Antique Doorknobs
by Clark's Auction Company
Est: $125- $225
$600 Bids
Antique 19th century French solid wood entry door with cast iron knocker, approx 169cm H x 80cm W
Oct 05, 4:00 PM AEDT
Antique 19th century French solid wood entry door with cast iron knocker, approx 169cm H x 80cm W
by Vickers & Hoad
Est: AUD300- AUD500
AUD2400 Bids
7 brass door knobs Antique
Oct 02, 11:00 AM AEST
7 brass door knobs Antique
by Pfeffer's Auctions
Est: AUD0- AUD0
AUD100 Bids
A STEEL DOOR KNOCKER IN THE FORM OF THE HEAD OF MERCURY. 20cm high
Oct 18, 11:00 AM IST
A STEEL DOOR KNOCKER IN THE FORM OF THE HEAD OF MERCURY. 20cm high
by Adam's
Est: €250- €350
€1700 Bids
Kenrick & Sons Victorian Door Knocker & Mail Slot
Sep 28, 12:00 PM EDT
Kenrick & Sons Victorian Door Knocker & Mail Slot
by Hill Auction Gallery
Est: $100- $1,000
$500 Bids
An Antique Victorian Eagle Door Knocker
Oct 01, 1:00 PM EDT
An Antique Victorian Eagle Door Knocker
by Designer Homes of Central Florida
Est: $75- $750
$700 Bids
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MASSIVER BAROCKER TÜRKLOPFER
Oct 01, 11:00 AM CEST
MASSIVER BAROCKER TÜRKLOPFER
by Auktionshalle Cuxhaven
Est: €0- €0
€150 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Door Bells & Knockers


Sheppards

Sheppards

Adam's

Adam's

DuMouchelles

DuMouchelles

Lawsons

Lawsons