Sunday 27 January 2013

The Yank’s House – Small Treasures

While the yank’s house is a modest house there were some small treasures that we were delighted to find and anxious to save and restore. The original front door was of very basic construction but it was the source of our first treasure finds.
There was a lovely original cast iron combined letterbox and door knocker by Archibald Kenrick & Sons No 401. On the back of the door knocker we found what turned out to be a Diamond Registration Mark. 

In 1835 a committee of MPs was set up to revue evidence regarding the pirating of designs in British industry. Seven years later in 1842 the need for copyright of design was recognised and an act was passed in Parliament to give the manufacturers legal protection for their designs. The act gave them three years protection from the date of registration and a fine of £30 would be imposed on anyone found guilty of copying an item while the protection was in force

See The Period Ironmonger Blog -

This is the diamond mark on our letterbox. F in the year is 1873. 1 in the class of material stands for cast Iron. 

Our door knocker was dirty, rusty and caked with old paint. It was so well secured in the door we had to take the door apart to get it off. Maybe this was why it had survived so long without getting stolen. The detail at the top of the knocker was chipped off so maybe at some stage someone had tried to remove it. We wrapped it up and took it home. 
Now it is time to introduce you to my brother-in-law – Gerry. He is so gifted when it comes to fixing and restoring iron pieces, locks, brass – indeed anything small and detailed is safe in his hands. So on my return home with our door knocker I went straight to Gerry to show it to him and ask him to clean and restore it.

He did a great job. I am sure you will agree when you look at these pictures.

There was also a lovely old door knob that got the same treatment from Gerry. These will both look lovely on our new front door.

The third thing we found on the door was a forge crafted lock. We no longer had a key but the lock itself was very interesting so again we took it home to Gerry to see what could be done.  Weeks passed and we were busy at the house, we put the old lock out of our minds. I wasn’t sure what Gerry would be able to do with it anyway.

Then one Sunday afternoon about two months later Gerry arrived down to us with the lock wrapped in a soft cloth. When I opened it up I was so surprised. It was beautiful – all shiny and new. Then he pulled out a new key he had made for the lock. I was so excited. The key is so big. You would need a big pocket or handbag to carry it about.  Gerry had fixed the lock and had it working perfectly.  I cannot wait to see it fitted on our new door.

I need to get my cloth out and polish up that brass nob! Gerry wont be impressed.

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