I thought I would follow up yesterday’s post about my door hardware with some sources for old door hardware. Here are some of my favorites:
I know pretty obvious, but the key to finding the good stuff is all in the search. For example if you search “vintage door hardware” you get 179 results. With antique door hardware you get 531 results. However the results are a total mix of things. To narrow the search search for specific items, i.e. hinges, rosettes, back plate, knob, and escutcheon. However, if you are willing to slog through the more vague terms you can sometimes find a better deal because the person selling it may not know the exact style so the prices will sometimes be cheaper. I also recommend if you find something you like looking at the sellers other items. Sometimes they have additional items from the same doors/house. The most important thing is to have patience! If you don’t have the time and energy to search through whats available then you should probably look elsewhere.
For Victorian Hardware: I like to search under both “Victorian door ____” (i.e. knob, rosette, key, escutcheon, hinge). Then I do the same search with “Eastlake ____”. Eastlake is an ornamental style of Victorian detail named after the famous English designer, Charles Eastlake, who wrote Hints on Household Taste which was a very popular book both in England the US in the later part of the 19th Century. “Sargent door” or “Branford door” is also a good search (they were manufacturers of a lot of Victorian door hardware). Other good search words include “bronze” and “cast iron”. It is typically cheaper to buy the pieces individually and piece them together yourself. In our case we are keeping some of the door hardware parts including the mortise guts so that works in our favor. It is important to keep in mind that not all the pieces will fit together correctly. We are staying away from larger backplates that house both the door knob and keyhole because we have found that the dimension between the two varies in our house, and amongst backplates for sale (both vintage and new).
For Bungalows: I recommend searching under “bungalow”, “arts and crafts” and “mission”. There are quite a few nice backplates and knob sets for sale at quite reasonable prices, especially if you are willing to give them a good cleaning.
I have bought both vintage and new hardware from this company. They started out restoring old sets and now make quite a bit of reproduction door hardware made from molds of original hardware. They are from Charleston, SC so they specialize in some of the styles popular down there such as the “rice” pattern. Their website is a bit slow and cumbersome but they have some good stuff at very reasonable prices. They have also been helpful when I have called with questions and been able to sell me set screws and some miscellaneous bits that you can’t seem to find anywhere. They also offer restoration of hardware.
They have a large offering of reproductions door hardware. Their prices are generally reasonable (although some items seem a bit overpriced), but I have found that their casting are not as crisp as I would like and that almost none of their hinges have removable pins.
I have bought cabinet hardware from here, but not door hardware, although their selection is pretty good. I quite like their finish options including “Antique-by-Hand” which I used for some bin pulls in the kitchen. I also like that they have collections for different periods and styles. They are one of the only places I could find that has reproduction Colonial styles.
Mostly known for their beautiful lights, they now offer all sorts of other house accessories including door hardware. They are known for their high quality, and at least from the pictures everything looks quite nice. The only downside I see is that they focus on selling complete sets rather than individual parts.
Your Local Architectural Salvage Store:
Usually the prices are good and you have a better chance of finding a good match for what you have locally. The downside is that you usually have to sift through a lot of stuff to find what you want. Also the prices range from really good to not so good based on the place and your negotiating skills.
Do you have any other recommendations?