Hi Everyone, Nigel here again!


I was talking to somebody recently about the many different types of doors and all the names they come with. Nowadays when choosing a door or door hardware you’ll likely hear a few eras thrown into the mix, namely Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian. But what does that mean? Is it just a name? Is there meaning behind it or is it a marketing ploy to make it all sound a bit ‘fancier’?  

 

I thought I would give a brief introduction on doors and how their handles have changed over the last few centuries so you can understand what it actually means to have, say, a Georgian door. I touched on the history of Architectural Ironmongery in my post Hardware Histories: The History and Evolution of Knobs, Handles and Doors but I shall here break down the doors and door handles of different era’s to clean up what is a bit of a grey area!

 

Doors & Door Handles From The Georgian Era

 

Let’s go back to the early 1700’s. Doors, of course, have been used throughout time, but the most popular are from this period onwards. The Georgian era is named after a series of four kings who were all named George (surprisingly!) - from the first George who took the throne in 1714 and kicked off the Georgian era to 1837 with the death of King George IV.


Doors from this period are particularly admired today but they were in fact part of a period, architecturally speaking, that was at it’s time considered slightly dull. The art of town planning restricted any expression or individuality. Homes were mainly terraced townhouses with flat fronts, doors located to the left side of the house and long narrow windows to let light into each floor.

 

Doors and Door Handles From The Georgian Era

 

It was very common for front doors to have fan lights above them and let light flood the hallway. Brass was the most common material for door hardware with polished brass being attended by maids and servants on a frequent basis. It was likely that a Georgian Mortice Knob or something similar would be located in the centre of the door whilst Brass Backplated door handles as seen below right would be the most common interior door handle choice.

 

georgian mortice knobs and door handle on backplateGeorgian Mortice Knob                                              Georgian Door Handle On Backplate

 

 

One of my favourite door facts comes from this period! Due to town planning and the strict architectural guidelines of the Georgian period, residents attempted to break away from the uniformed, symmetrical and identical  housing architecture. They attempted to express their own individuality by painting their doors in bright colours and adding their own elegant door hardware. As can now be exhibited in the famous brightly coloured Georgian doors in places like Dublin and Edinburgh!

 

Georgian doors can most easily be identified through a central placed handle, a lack of glass and frequently topped with fan lights. It was this fan light that let light in so the doors would have been entirely wood.

 

Doors and Door Hardware From The Victorian Era

 

With the death of George IV in 1837 came the Victorian era and Queen Victoria's remarkable sixty-three year reign until her death in 1901. This period took a big shift architecture-wise. The flat-fronted terraced buildings of the Georgian period, with their tall windows and uniformed look gave way to houses more elaborately decorated, with bay windows and overhangs.

 

two victorian doors by Marc Biarnès - Flickr

via  Marc Biarnès / Flickr

 

 

Frontages on the whole became more decorative and complex with more expression in their architecture but doors themselves became thinner as the shape and width of houses changed. Victorian doors led into narrower hallways to accommodate fewer but larger rooms and they rarely had the same semi circled fan lights above. Commonly, doors had four panels, occasionally with two smaller panels above.

 

Bright colours and individual door hardware calmed down and simple bronze, brass and silver door handles were used. Glass within the door became a popular feature during the Victorian period as a Gothic revival brought more polychromy. Victorian doors can be identified for their symmetrical stain glass panels as seen above.

 

 

Edwardian Doors and Door Hardware


Next up came Kind Edward. The shortest era of the three began after the death of Queen Victoria in 1901 and ended under ten years later in 1910. Consequently, there is not a transition as significant as can be noticed between the Georgian and Victorian eras and 
sometimes Edwardian doors and door hardware are mixed in with the latter.


But that’s not to say there isn’t anything different! In these 10 years the Gothic revival did not halter and obsession with stained glass continued, Edwardian doors became wider with windows often flanking the door, often in the same stained glass.

 

Edwardian door by Sludge G - Flickr

via Sludge G / Flickr

 

By this time less and less residents had maids and servants to polish their brass door hardware and look after their steps. Rather than maintaining these themselves people invested in black coated door hardware and furniture as it didn’t need any maintenance.

 

ring shaped door knocker and edwardian door handle on backplate

 

Ring Shaped Door Knocker - Black Antique              Edwardian Door Handle On Backplate

 

Visit E-Hardware to browse our huge range of door handles and window furniture — now. We’ve got accessories and all the door hardware you can imagine, there will be something that fits the bill!