Doorknobs might be considered a somewhat eccentric thing to collect, but they call out to me.
I remember the very first door knob I ever acquired. It was a cabinet door knob, but nonetheless a door knob. As I turned 10 years old, my grandparents sold the house they had lived in for over 35 years. My mother and I had lived in that house with them until I was 5 years old. It held every memory of meaning that I had up until then. I’m not sure how at that young age I had the presence of mind to do so, but I walked into the kitchen and removed a cabinet knob. It was glass with a dark, aged screw that secured it to the upper cabinet door.
I still have that knob plus many more that I have collected along the way. Preservation is very important and it is painful to me when antique houses are torn down. Maybe that contributes to my love of door knobs. It’s the one thing that when inside a house that most everyone (residents and guests alike) touch. So much history passes through with just the turn of a knob.
Of course, being in Nashville, the treasure trove of knobs @preservationstation are high on my list of loves. If you haven’t been there, go shop with them. I stop in there on occasion simply to admire their large selection of antique and vintage door knobs.
Kennebunk, Maine has a fabulous place to find vintage knobs @oldhousepartsco. You can walk through several buildings that house so many fabulous parts of “deconstructed” houses. Let’s use that term instead of “torn down”. We visited there in October and it was just as exhilarating as my first visit there 12 years prior. In fact, a visit in general to Kennebunk and Kennebunkport should be on your list.
The next time you’re in an antique store or even just a “vintage junk” store and see a door knob...think of all that history that has touched that knob and passed through that door.