Antique Door Furniture Blog

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  1. The Victorian Ironmonger specialises in antique door locks, this is a popular section of our antique door furniture online shop.
    We have many years experience of dealing with the restoration and sale of old door locks, and sell only genuine original reclaimed old door locks, we carry no reproductions.
    Our old door locks are mainly of original British manufacture, whether hand made in the Georgian era or mass produced from the Victorian period onwards.
    You can be sure of genuine antique old door locks to suit and fit in with your period restoration.
    These old door locks are now scarce but we scour the country for the best examples to restore.
    Dealing in all antique periods, mainly from the Georgian period right through to the 1930's, The Victorian Ironmonger is one of the very few UK sites with a range of genuine reclaimed old door locks available to buy online.
    Unfortunately original reclaimed old door locks can not be got, or made to order, although we usually have a good range of restored antique locks in stock, from the simple Georgian or Victorian rim latch to the larger front door and church type oak cased ones.
    Lock can be a misleading term used generically to describe both locks and rim latches.
    There are two basic types,the 'mortice lock' (which fits into a pocket in the door edge with only the faceplate visible) or the 'rim' (surface mounted to the door face, the whole lock being visible, this is usually on the side of the door opening towards you)
    These old door locks can be further sub-divided as follows:-
    1.   Deadlocks - with key operated bolt only - no latch to hold the door closed when not locked.
    2.   Rim Latches - a sprung return latch operated by a pair of door knobs - door is held closed but not locked.
    2a. As 2 above but with the addition of a sliding privacy bolt - the door can be locked from inside - usually found on bedroom and bathroom doors.
    3.   Lockable Rim Latch - a combination of types 1 & 2 above.
    3a. As 3 above but with the addition of a sliding privacy bolt - the door can be locked from inside without the key.
    4.   Night Rim Latch or Front Door Lock - with an internal slide or turn knob to operate a combined latch/bolt - access from outside by key only - bolt/latch can be held
          in the open or closed position by a sliding snib (the action of a modern Yale type lock).
    We tend to specialise in surface mounted rim type old door locks, these can be cased in either wrought iron (earlier examples),cast iron,steel,brass or wood (usually oak).
    Iron cased versions would always be found in the working class terraces and later cottages. The better class of house often had a large iron lock for the front door,  smaller good quality lockable rim latches for the main ground floor rooms and small rim latches with privacy bolts for the first floor.
    This order of "show" for old door locks was particulary emphasized in the grander Georgian or Victorian properties with brass cased locks to the ground floor, lockable rim latches to the first floor and the most basic rim or plate latch for the servants quarters.
    Old door locks of the Georgian period are our favourites, being entirely hand made with superb workmanship hidden away in the case. These old door locks rarely,if ever, carry any clue as to their maker (probally one of hundreds of small backyard workshops around Wolverhampton). The one thing they do carry is the pride and craftsmanship of the hand that made them - the only signature necessary!
    Old door locks saw the advent of mass production during the Victorian era. Many of them now carrying makers labels with names such as:-
    Carpenter, Chubb, Bissell, Bramah, Tonks, Wing & Webb amongst others,and boasting innovations like 'cradle action',' palace motion', 'improved steel case'  as well as numerous patents applied for.
    Most of these later old door locks will have brass fittings for quietness and ease of operation.
    All of the old door locks we supply are stripped, inspected and restored by us with replacement parts made or adapted as necessary.
    We also try to supply original keys to suit the period of the lock as far as possible,for this reason usually just one key per lock is supplied.
    Our old door locks are therefore supplied fully working and complete with keeps ready to fit.
  2. The Victorian Ironmonger is an antique door furniture specialist with many years experience in dealing with the restoration and sale of antique door furniture.
    We sell only genuine original reclaimed antique door furniture with no reproductions.
    Our antique door furniture is predominantly of British manufacture, whether originally hand made or mass produced in the Victorian era. It is now scarce and we scour the country to find the best antique door furniture to restore.
    We deal in all period styles of antique door furniture from 17th century door latches to Art Deco door handles, being the only site dedicated to solely to original reclaimed antique door furniture and architectural fittings for period properties.
    Genuine antique door furniture can not be got to order but we always have a good range of  antique door knobs and handles, old door locks,  boltsdoor knockersletter boxes, antique door hingeslatchesold fashioned servants bells (both mechanical and electrical). antique coat hooksold window fittings, door fingerplates, escutcheons etc.,in fact all antique ironmongery or hardware.
    In addition to the above range of antique door furniture, much by well known makers such as:- Kenrick, Tonks, Gibbons, Hobbs,Chubb, Leggotts, Nettlefolds, Collins, we also stock antique cabinet and cupboard hardware.
    We constantly search for additions to our stock of antique door furniture.
    Nothing will grace a period property as much as antique door furniture, inferior or even good reproductions do not have, nor can have, the feel or look of something made with original materials and craftsmanship. This is not to mention the patination that can only come with use over time, which says I've been used and handled for a hundred years or so. Genuine reclaimed antique door furniture will look as though its always been in your period home - what could be more right than that?
    When choosing your antique door furniture try to discover what the original fittings would have been, maybe by looking at similar properties you know to be untouched by the modernisers. This is particulary easy for the front door, take a walk down the street and identify where the original antique door furniture still exists. Careful though you may get addicted and as passionate about antique door furniture as us!
    The antique door furniture sold by The Victorian Ironmonger is full restored as necessary and usually good for another 100 years or so!  I wonder can that be said of modern reproductions - I doubt it.
    Antique door furniture has had many phases over the years, from the beauty of the 17th or 18th Century blacksmiths eye and hand, through Georgian elegance (Georgian brass door locks are amongst our favourites, beautifully crafted by hand, simple, functional and elegant), Victorian design, Arts & Crafts, Art Nouveau, Edwardian, Art Deco to the 1930's, we try to cover them all - enjoy browsing.