A door knob can be so much more than just something to grab hold of a door with!
Elegant and ornamental, avant-garde or simply uniquely designed, door knobs can be a real decorating style statement. I’ve always loved glass door knobs for their look of classic elegance, and recently I came across an interesting story about their history.
Glass knob inspired by our very own past (Source: House of Antique Hardware)
During the Great Depression era in America, a very popular accessory was an item called Depression glass. Depression glass, as it was and is still known today, was distributed in boxes of food and given out at certain shops and movie theaters as a kind of incentive to encourage buying during a time when businesses were failing. People would find a piece of it inside their bag of flour, for instance, or be awarded a piece for coming to visit a department store.
Popular style of collectible glass (Source: K and M Antiques)
There were many different manufacturers of this glass, but the main commonality in all their products was that they were inexpensive. Obviously the lower price range was matched by a lower standard in quality, and there were many imperfections in the glass.
Depression glass came in several categories, including general glass, elegant glass and children’s glass. But in that era of making do, Depression glass was not looked down upon. In fact, when Jacqueline Kennedy was First Lady, she used a line of Depression Glass – Morgantown Glass – as the official glassware for the White House!
An example of Depression Glass by Morgantown Glass (Source: First Class Glass)
Another characteristic of Depression glass is that it came in many pretty, uplifting colors, including green, pink, blue, yellow and amber. Such was its popularity and fame that this fanciful glass is still around today, gracing many interiors and antique shops!
It’s wonderful how a design element with so much history has made a place for itself in the modern designscape. Along with its quirky charm, it resonates with the history of a difficult time and the determination of a nation that survived – and later flourished. Living as we currently are, in a climate of economic recession, makes me wonder: will we too produce some unique object of design that will mark this period in our history….?
Details, antiques, doors
Tagged Amitha Verma Interior Designer, crystal doorknobs, Depression glass, glass doorknobs, historical glass, Houston, interior design, Morgantown glass, specialty hardware
Sometimes a door is well, just a door. Other times, they are THE design statement of a room or entry. Doors are so commonplace in our lives they tend to not get much thought. Unless you’re an architect or an interior designer, then doors become a very serious consideration. It was the same for ancient Egyptians who represented double doors in paintings of the tombs. This is the start of the recorded history of doors.
King Solomon’s temple doors, made of olive wood, were noted in the bible (I Kings 31-35.) During these early biblical times many types of timber were used for doors including cypress, cedar, elm and oak.
In late 2010, archeologists unearthed a 5,000 year old door in Zurich. It is thought to be the oldest door ever found in Europe. It was made from ancient poplar wood with hinges and unusual planks holding it together.
Fast forward to modern times and you’ll find the door hasn’t changed much. It’s still hinged and replete with door handle or knob and often times a door knocker. Materials are varied but many types of wood especially oak remain popular. Mass manufactured doors took over the majority of the market of handcrafted custom doors here in the US but there are still many upscale homes which require custom doors.
We often spend some time on this aspect of design as we are trying to encapsulate the entire design concept into one door! Talk about pressure! One of my favorite things to do is to add an old antique door somewhere completely unexpected into my interiors. I’ll save those pics for another post!
Detail of the front door to Westminster Abbey in England which is thought to be the oldest door in England.
Shown here is the intricate metal work of the front door to Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France.