Since our house was built in the 1940s, I’ve made it my mission to update all the door hardware with vintage glass and brass knobs that were popular through the late 1940s. The challenge, I quickly discovered, with vintage hardware is that the cap around the knob (more fancy folk refer to it as an escutcheon) has to be a lot larger in diameter to cover the round cut-outs for the lock mechanism in modern doors than their vintage counterparts.
As detailed in my last post, we painted our doors black and tossed the builder-grade doorknobs.
So, I ordered three sets of doorknobs off Ebay for a steal and naively thought I’d be all set to install them. As soon as we took the doorknob off the door, it became quite clear that this was going to be a more involved process, since you most definitely need to cover the hole where the doorknob + lock live. I finally found House of Antique Hardware these beautiful solid brass escutcheons that are designed for modern pre-drilled doors. I ordered one set to make sure it would work and when they arrived I was seriously impressed with how beautiful and well-made they are. But then I tried to fit the doorknob into the escutcheon and it was too snug to work. We sat on it for a little while and I tried to source new vintage doorknobs to fit. A few weeks later, Cory had a stroke of genius that he could just sand down the brass doorknob piece that needed to fit into the escutcheon in order to fix the fraction of an inch difference between the doorknob and the escutcheon. Success.
We know have beautiful vintage + new that looks vintage doorknobs, and at a price point that was a third of the doorknobs that I was considering in lieu of vintage. Between the doorknobs that I sourced for $8 each + $28 in brass escutcheons, for under $40 our doors look awesome. Now, I’m on the constant hunt for vintage doorknobs, so we can keep making our way through the doorknobs in the house, one room at a time. If you know of any good spots in the New York / Connecticut area, please let me know!