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The history of the door knocker

Press release   •   Jun 18, 2019 10:13 CEST

Door knockers come in many varieties

Knock, knock, knock! Who's there? - Quotes from Shakespeare's Macbeth

At VillaHus you can find door knockers in many varieties. You can for example find the classic door knockers shaped like a lion head, a horseshoe or a traditional ring, but you can also find the more distinctive door knockers that can take the form of a woodpecker, lyre or a dolphin.

The history of the door knocker is old - in fact, the door knocker has welcomed guests from all over the world for thousands of years.

Back to Ancient Greece

The door knocker was invented in Ancient Greece. The Greeks were very cautious about who they welcomed into their properties as they always had to be aware of potential enemies.

The Spartans did not have much patience and because of this they shot the intruders as soon as they had the option, while the Athenians were more sophisticated and found a piece of iron that was loosely mounted on the front door. The guest could grab the iron and knock on the door to report his arrival. The iron worked in this way as a butler who made the residents of the propery aware of new guests. This became a precursor to the door knocker we know today.

The majestic lion head

The Athenians soon found out that enemies could take the iron off the door and choose to attack the residents with the heavy piece of iron because it was just mounted loosely on the door. To avoid this, a heavy iron ring was developed, which was mounted on a round plate on the door. In this way, no one could remove the door knocker from the door but guests could stille use it for knocking.

The idea of the door knocker, designed as a ring, gradually spread to Rome where the ring was soon further developed and reinvented. The Romans invented a lot of new, decorative motifs that were mounted on the doors to replace the simple ring. For example the well-known lion head which has been one of the most used door knockers since the Antiquity. The lion head symbolizes courage, strength and power, which the Romans wanted to be associated with of both friends and enemies.

Over the years, the door knocker gradually spread to the rest of Europe and other parts of the world - and today the door knocker has been rediscovered and is used as a functional decoration on front doors all over the world.

See our selection of door knockers here.

At VillaHus we have a special passion for interior design. We believe that your home is telling the story of who you are. We have an extraordinary passion for the interior detail, which means that we are specialized in exclusive door handles, door knockers, door stops, cabinet knobs and other fittings for your home. 

To ensure high quality, we have carefully selected all the designers, architects and design companies we are working together with. We are proud to offer designs from exclusive and well-known brands such as Arne Jacobsen, Knud Holscher, Samuel Heath, FSB and Turnstyle Design.