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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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CAST IRON HORSE DOOR KNOCKER
Mar 04, 6:00 PM EST
CAST IRON HORSE DOOR KNOCKER
by Atlee Raber Auctioneer
Est: $0- $0
$51 Bid
BRASS GOLF CLUB & BALL DOOR KNOCKER
Mar 01, 12:00 PM EST
BRASS GOLF CLUB & BALL DOOR KNOCKER
by Converse Auctions
Est: $20- $40
$101 Bid
Vintage Neoclassical Cast Brass Athena Mask Door Knocker
Feb 29, 12:00 PM EST
Vintage Neoclassical Cast Brass Athena Mask Door Knocker
by Akiba Galleries
Est: $25- $250
$251 Bid
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LARGE DECORATOR CAST IRON DOOR KNOCKER
Feb 29, 9:00 AM AEST
LARGE DECORATOR CAST IRON DOOR KNOCKER
by Albion Antique Auction Centre
Est: AUD10- AUD40
AUD101 Bid
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5 Stephen Robin Mold Sample Door Knockers
Feb 27, 10:00 AM EST
5 Stephen Robin Mold Sample Door Knockers
by Barry S. Slosberg Inc
Est: $100- $200
$400 Bids
Two 20thC cast brass door knockers, one of Green Man style mask form. Large
Feb 26, 9:00 AM GMT
Two 20thC cast brass door knockers, one of Green Man style mask form. Large
by Claydon Auctioneers
Est: £30- £50
£300 Bids
Church bell or knocker from the 17th century in solid silver, with chain
Feb 28, 4:30 PM CET
Church bell or knocker from the 17th century in solid silver, with chain
by Templum Fine Art Auctions
Est: €500- €600
€3000 Bids
An early 20thC brass door knocker formed as a stylised elephant and rider,
Feb 26, 9:00 AM GMT
An early 20thC brass door knocker formed as a stylised elephant and rider,
by Claydon Auctioneers
Est: £30- £50
£300 Bids
A French cast iron door knocker
Mar 08, 10:00 AM GMT
A French cast iron door knocker
by Martel Maides
Est: £40- £50
£200 Bids
ANTIQUE EQUINE THEMED BRASS DOOR KNOCKER
Mar 05, 10:00 AM GMT
ANTIQUE EQUINE THEMED BRASS DOOR KNOCKER
by Sheppards
Est: €100- €150
€600 Bids
2 Door Knockers
Feb 27, 9:00 AM EST
2 Door Knockers
by Wehrly's Auction Service
Est: $0- $0
$50 Bids
Door Knobs, Paper Weight, Bottle
Feb 27, 9:00 AM EST
Door Knobs, Paper Weight, Bottle
by Wehrly's Auction Service
Est: $0- $0
$50 Bids
Cast iron swan form door knocker
Mar 07, 10:00 AM EST
Cast iron swan form door knocker
by Millea Bros Ltd
Est: $60- $80
$300 Bids
19TH-CENTURY BRASS DOOR KNOCKER
Mar 05, 10:00 AM GMT
19TH-CENTURY BRASS DOOR KNOCKER
by Sheppards
Est: €150- €250
€900 Bids
stone head knocker w/ wrapped handle
Mar 16, 10:00 AM EDT
stone head knocker w/ wrapped handle
by Old Barn Auction
Est: $40- $1,000
$200 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Door Bells & Knockers


Wehrly's Auction Service

Wehrly's Auction Service

Claydon Auctioneers

Claydon Auctioneers

Sheppards

Sheppards

Martel Maides

Martel Maides