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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DR. Q’S VISIT OF THE GHOSTS (RAPPING DOOR). LOS ANGELES: F....
Oct 30, 10:00 AM CDT
DR. Q’S VISIT OF THE GHOSTS (RAPPING DOOR). LOS ANGELES: F....
by Potter & Potter Auctions Inc.
Est: $1,500- $2,500
$7500 Bids
Brass Lion Door Knocker, Rooster Nut Cracker
Oct 20, 10:00 AM EDT
Brass Lion Door Knocker, Rooster Nut Cracker
by The Benefit Shop Foundation Inc
Est: $20- $50
$10 Bids
Brass Pistol Door Knocker & Espuela Grande Style Spurs, 6 items
Oct 23, 9:00 AM EDT
Brass Pistol Door Knocker & Espuela Grande Style Spurs, 6 items
by Case Antiques, Inc. Auctions & Appraisals
Est: $200- $250
$1000 Bids
2 door knockers, 19th/20th c., ca
Nov 05, 10:00 AM CET
2 door knockers, 19th/20th c., ca
by Historia Auktionshaus
Est: €0- €0
€500 Bids
A Brass Door Knocker
Oct 17, 1:00 PM EDT
A Brass Door Knocker
by Designer Homes of Central Florida
Est: $75- $750
$700 Bids
Set of 2 Eagle Door Knockers
Oct 16, 1:00 PM EDT
Set of 2 Eagle Door Knockers
by Designer Homes of Central Florida
Est: $275- $2,750
$2750 Bids
An Antique Victorian Eagle Door Knocker
Oct 16, 1:00 PM EDT
An Antique Victorian Eagle Door Knocker
by Designer Homes of Central Florida
Est: $75- $750
$700 Bids
A Brass Door Knocker
Oct 17, 1:00 PM EDT
A Brass Door Knocker
by Designer Homes of Central Florida
Est: $75- $750
$700 Bids
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Türklopfer, Löwe, Messing, L. 12,3 cm, rötliche Patina
Oct 30, 11:00 AM CEST
Türklopfer, Löwe, Messing, L. 12,3 cm, rötliche Patina
by Auktionshalle Cuxhaven
Est: €0- €0
€100 Bids
A Vintage Small Door Knocker
Oct 17, 1:00 PM EDT
A Vintage Small Door Knocker
by Designer Homes of Central Florida
Est: $45- $450
$450 Bids
A Metal Dolphin Knocker
Oct 17, 1:00 PM EDT
A Metal Dolphin Knocker
by Designer Homes of Central Florida
Est: $45- $450
$450 Bids
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Bronze Shakespeare Door Knocker
Nov 03, 10:00 AM EDT
Bronze Shakespeare Door Knocker
by Barry S. Slosberg Inc
Est: $150- $250
$750 Bids
A LION HANDLE DOOR KNOCKER 25cm high
Oct 18, 11:00 AM IST
A LION HANDLE DOOR KNOCKER 25cm high
by Adam's
Est: €300- €400
€2000 Bids
LOVERS BRASS DOOR KNOCKER
Oct 25, 4:00 PM EDT
LOVERS BRASS DOOR KNOCKER
by DejaVu Estate Sales & Auctions
Est: $50- $100
$200 Bids
Art Nouveau bell, Germany, around
Nov 05, 10:00 AM CET
Art Nouveau bell, Germany, around
by Historia Auktionshaus
Est: €0- €0
€900 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Door Bells & Knockers


Designer Homes of Central Florida

Designer Homes of Central Florida

Historia Auktionshaus

Historia Auktionshaus

Adam's

Adam's

Barry S. Slosberg Inc

Barry S. Slosberg Inc