Vintage Door Knobs

Image courtesy of Todd Baker via Flickr.
Image courtesy of Todd Baker via Flickr.

When searching for vintage door knobs there are a few ways to do it. You can search all of the antique stores in your area, or you can turn to the internet. Both ways have their merits, and we'll discuss them in this Hub. We'll also break down some of the more common vintage door knob styles so you can find what you're looking for a little bit easier online.

Finding these door knobs in antique stores is based a lot on luck. They are common, but the common knobs are one-offs, rather than anything that matches. You will be able to find some matching sets, but it's rare and antique stores know that, so they charge accordingly. I think that the reason for this is because this style of door knob has been very popular for the last 20 or so years, and most of the good ones have been picked through. New (to you) vintage door knobs are coming into the market much slower now because there are less of them in existence.

How do you get good deals on these in antique stores? Shop around! I hope you like antique stores, because you're probably going to be going to a lot of them to find what you're looking for! Another problem is that prices on them vary a lot since there isn't any sort of price guide that stores can refer to. So be patient, shop around, and you're going to find exactly what you want at an awesome price.

Below, we'll break down some of the common types of vintage door knobs and show you where you can get them for great prices on eBay.

Vintage Brass Door Knobs

Brass door knobs are the most common vintage variety you're going to find.  This is due to brass being so popular in the early 1900's, as well as the fact that it lasts forever.  These will come in every shape and size you can imagine, for both interiors and exteriors. 

You may come across a vintage brass door knob that is really cool, but in poor shape.  As long as the mechanics inside the knob work fine, cleaning them is very easy.  You can remove the dirt with plain soap and water, and the tarnish with a brass cleaner like Brasso (available at home improvement stores).  It will take some elbow grease to get it back to its original luster, but it will happen.  This is the easiest way to save a lot on these vintage knobs.

Vintage Glass Door Knobs

Vintage glass door knobs are extremely popular right now.  Crystal door knobs never really fell out of style, but the vintage variety are a hot commodity!  Let your doors party like it's 1899!

Most of these are going to made from leaded glass, which is known for its supreme clarity and wide range of available colors.  New crystal knobs are also made from the same materials, but just don't have the same character as the old school ones do (and they cost more!).

When shopping for vintage glass door knobs you want to make sure that they aren't scratched.  This is a common problem with glass knobs from this time period, so be sure to ask before you buy!

Vintage Porcelain Door Knobs

Porcelain was a very common door knob material a long time ago. It was durable, attractive, and more affordable than brass and crystal. There are tons of these knobs on the market right now, and if you're looking for matching door knobs you're most likely to find them in porcelain.

It's extremely important that you make sure that the door knobs that you're bidding on aren't chipped. Be sure to ask because this is extremely common with period ceramic door knobs.

Porcelain is also very heavy, so you may end up paying steep shipping charges for these vintage door knobs.  Fortunately, they are by far the most affordable of all of the vintage door knob materials, so you won't end up spending much at all.

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Comments 2 comments

1000Ways profile image

1000Ways 6 years ago

I like the authentic vintage door knobs because they always have a story associated with them (and if you don't know it you can always make one up!). I know a lot of people who have had success finding antique door knobs on eBay. Good write up!


GmaGoldie profile image

GmaGoldie 6 years ago from Madison, Wisconsin

Love glass door knobs even though I love modern - I believe the glass knobs are timeless. The jewelry of the door.

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