Thursday, October 17, 2013

Impressive Knockers


Really?!! Did you honestly think this post would be about those kinds of knockers?

That would be a cheap and all too obvious play for publicity. I am a feminist. Rest assured, there will be none of that smut here.

Oops. My bad.

As I was saying, this post is about door knockers.Why? Because the other day as I walked home from my Castellano class, I noticed a set of them placed so high up on a door that only a giant (or a very determined human who happened to have a ladder at his disposal) could have clanged them. ¨How weird,¨ I thought.

Continuing along my route, I began checking out all the knockers on the way in search of another out-of- reach pair. In the process, I started to notice how cool and intricate door knockers are. The best ones offered clues about the people who might have first lived behind each respective set of doors. Based on the size and theme of the knocker, one could guess about their social status, line of work, and the images they wished to portray. Maybe door knockers were the social media of the day, giving the public just enough information to mislead it.

Exquisite door hardware for homes
I did eventually find another set of ¨high¨ knockers. Like the first pair, they were on the doors of a very impressive, stone edifice. Since I didn´t have a ladder in tow (silly girl) they were also way beyond the reach of my grasping hands.

I have since discovered this is entirely intentional. Back in the day, callers to these buildings used to ride their horses (or at the very least, their horse-drawn carriages) right up to the front door. Much like us, these old-fashioned callers were too lazy to get out of (or off) their rides to ring the bell. So architects accommodated them by placing the door knockers at THEIR eye level, which is some 5 feet above the heads of us modern, horseless humans.

A Pictoral Tour
Unfortunately, this knockers´ tour lacks the very best set I saw -- the ones that inspired this post. Those knockers, which featured the heads of ¨natives¨ with thick metal rings shoved in their mouths, were brutal, impressive and depressing all at once.

As a card-carrying member of the Club for the Directionally Challenged, I cannot apologize to you for being unable to retrace my steps and locate said knockers for their pic. However, I can share the pictures of the door knockers I did find.

I hope you enjoy these for what they are ... little, and in some cases desecrated, works of art. Their craftsmanship can be seen in the small details, such as the rings on fingers or the rows of teeth in a lion´s mouth.

Well there´s that ...and the fact that these door knockers STILL work, even though most are older than the country from which I hail!

Intricate Hand Door Knockers, Gotico, Barcelona

Can´t reach. Where´s a pair of really high heels when you need them?

Lion's head door knocker with grafitti
Old City, Barcelona, Spain

A singular moment of creativity. 
Sometimes thoughts HAVE to be expressed.
Door Knocker, Gotico, Barcelona, Spain