Consider the humble door knocker
People amaze me. For every tiny aspect of life there will be someone who is madly, obsessively fascinated by it. Yesterday Mr Pimp was coming out of the architect’s next door when he found a man gazing up at our house. This man, as it happens, is a friend of friends and he is in the advanced stages of Georgian mania (as he says of himself). Luckily for him I don’t think it’s terminal. They got to talking about rim locks out there in the street, as one does, and then they went for a little tour of the locks in the house. The man was very excited and knowledgeable in equal proportions, especially about the locks in the drawing room – early Carpenter mortices, apparently, and very unusual. Turns out he has a vast collection of Georgian locks and keys. It also turns out he’ll be willing to sell us some to replace those which have gone missing.
So that’s good. I have to confess I don’t understand the obsession with locks. My mind finds mechanics a great big blah and I can’t get worked up over levers and twiddles. But I get it that some do. I suppose it’s a form of architectural geekery.
Door knockers, however, are a bit different. Aren’t they?
This was once the door knocker on our house.
But at some stage quite recently it was stolen. It’s probably mouldering away in a junk shop somewhere. For some reason this theft incensed me. Enough, in fact, to get me researching what it was and where I could get a replacement. I have to explain that this is very out of character – I’m just not a hardware sort of gal. But anyway, I found one. I found three in fact. They are Wellington knockers, made to commemorate the Duke of Wellington’s defeat of Napoleon in 1815. I don’t think they sold too many in France but they did make it over here. It would have been shipped over from England to Sydney when the house was built and it stayed on that door through rain and shine, bubonic plague, a stint as a boarding house, government resumption – until about eighteen months ago when some bright spark ripped it off.
So this is the new/old one. It arrived a few days ago and I’m very taken with it. The fingernails, the cuticles – even all the little creases on the hand are clearly delineated. Maybe they found a Georgian hobbit to make the mould from. It’s also vast and heavy. And it’s not going on that damned door until we’ve moved in and the two hounds are there to deter any knockers-off of knockers.