Sunday, 28 August 2016

Georgian Lion Mask Door Knocker - roaring back to life

Recently we were lucky enough to find this Georgian cast iron lion mask door knocker. It was in a somewhat distressed condition but we were convinced a treasure lay below the decades of paint and dirt.

How do you know it's Georgian you might ask. The way the securing studs have been forged into the knocker body tells us that this is an early example, Later knockers had screw in studs. Unfortunately this makes the studs almost impossible to remove. They can be sawn off but the remaining stud is diamond hard and resists all attempts at removal.

The first step is to clean the knocker up. After the paint has been removed the rust is attended to.  A good wire brushing gets the last traces of rust and paint off and gives us our first view of the detail.

Fortunately, paint is an excellent preservative and the lion is in lovely condition with almost no pitting to the surface. A close up inspection reveals some nice detailing.

One of the studs is badly corroded, we always like to keep it original if we can but in this case it's too far gone. We can't remove the stud for reasons previously explained so we have no alternative but to re cut the threads to a smaller gauge. We find a 5/16 BSW die from a box of old dies bought from Kempton Park antique market one dark and freezing winters morning and the thread is re-made.

We now have another problem, the original nut for the corroded stud was missing and we don't have a suitable replacement, we will have to make one, in fact we need to make two, the other being for the reproduction striking button which came with a hex nut. We delve into our collection of reclaimed lock parts and find two suitable iron bolts from some Victorian rim locks that were beyond economical repair and we cut two blanks.

After a time in the workshop we end up with 3 similar nuts all hand made.

The secret now is to get everything looking the same colour. All we can tell you about this is that we used our own blend of waxes and oils.

And here is the finished article, ready to scare kids and wake the dead for another 100 years!

He is now finally listed on our website. Check him out

Monday, 22 August 2016

What we uploaded recently

Here at Silbury Antiques we always try to keep adding new bits and pieces to our shop.
Here are some we recently uploaded.

Our mythical Fish knocker 

Telephone bell

Wonderful pressed Fingerplate