Communing with a historic home

Sometimes I wander around the house and just look at things a little closer. I’ve learned some tremendously interesting things by doing this.

For instance, the “public” areas of the house (main rooms on the first floor) have a style distinct from the “private” areas (kitchen, second floor), right down to the hardware and door patterns. Tonight, my mind focused on the bead pattern that repeats on the main stair case in wood *and* on all the door knobs and plates in the public areas.

Dat bead work.

Dat bead work.

The previous owner left us a giant mix of antique hardware that makes identifying particular bits of hardware a challenge. He was an antiques dealer, and so we have a mix that is about 90% random things he collected and 10% original house hardware.

Over time I’ve ruled out and discarded quite a collection of junk, but a good deal remains undecided. This hardware now resides on the second floor of the carriage house in a few small boxes, awaiting further enlightenment.

Tonight, after some reflection on public vs. private areas and the bead pattern, I revisited the remaining piles of hardware. In particular, I was looking for the missing doorknob plates for the insides of the two front doors (thankfully, both exterior facing plates are still in place).

I quickly homed in on pieces I could now definitively say were part of our house:

In order: A first floor knob & plate (note the bead detailing), the doorbell, a second floor doorknob, a first floor doorjam, 2 locks, and (top) a full set of hinges.

In order: A first floor knob & plate, the doorbell, a second floor doorknob, a first floor doorjam, 2 locks, and (top) a full set of hinges.

Alas, the plates I sought were not among the collection, but it was really nice to set aside these pieces. I also know that the stained glass hardware remains unaccounted for, which I deeply hope is somewhere in there, waiting to be identified once I figure out what I’m seeking.

It’s really satisfying to get these mini-eureka moments, and I feel extremely lucky that the house has so enough of its original pieces that I can fill in the missing pieces of information accurately.

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