Georgian Doors and Door Furniture
July 26, 2013
GEORGIAN DOORS AND DOOR FURNITURE
The Georgian era covers from 1714-1820. The order of the age was for elegance, proportion and symmetry. There were three main architectural styles during this time:
1714 -1760 Palladian Style
1760-1790 Adam or Neo Classical
Georgian doors would normally be six panel style and without glass. The panel layout would be two small square panels at the top, over two longer panels, over two panels at the bottom. Georgian doors would generally have been painted in one solid colour, perhaps white, black, dark green or burgundy.
The property frontage would be flat and simple with windows and doors set back a little from the brick face. Some doors would have a semi-circular fanlight above the door. Later in the period more detailing was introduced, including stone pillars, hoods and porches.
Door furniture for most of the period, would have been black iron, hand forged by the local blacksmith. External doors have always needed to look and be robust to repel unwanted visitors. For hinges, handles and door knockers, black ironmongery would have contributed to the robust look. In the main, items would have been quite plain, with perhaps just a plain door knob and lock. From the 1800’s door knockers were widely used and the fashion grew for more decorative ironwork including motifs such as lion’s head, dolphin and sphinx.
It was not until the later part of the Georgian era that brass door furniture would have become the main material for door fittings. Highly polished brass on the front door made a real statement about your status. This became the norm in the Victorian era when styles became more elaborate and showy.
There is much brass door furniture on the market labeled as a so called, “Georgian look” or “the Georgian Collection” etc. which is popular today, but this is not what would have been used. Brass was used much less than we think before the commencement of the 19th Century.
The layout of a six panel door allows for the knocker to sit on the central vertical stile about two thirds of the way up the door. The central horizontal stile allows for the mounting of the door knob and lock. From the 1840’s onwards, letter plates were introduced with the coming of the Mail. These could be mounted horizontally in the centre of the central stile, with a centre pull knob just above. Another option is to have a vertical letter plate on the central stile, below the knocker and then have the centre pull knob on the central horizontal style. This is really down to personal preference and functionality. Escutcheons would have been used to cover any key holes.
If you have a lovely Georgian property or nice six panel door, you can of course try and stay as true to the original fittings as possible. We hope this posting will be of assistance. However with the requirements of life today, we need more locks (which have to be insurance grade) and a letter plate.
If you would like any more information please contact us at Priors Period Ironmongery on 01746 712450 or at www.priorsrec.co.uk
We also have a PInterest board on this subject with lots of pics of Georgian Doors and suitable items from our range. Please take a look.