Tuesday, 14 February 2017

An Update from The Period Ironmonger

What's been happening at The Period Ironmonger?

Hello everyone

Well, a lot has been happening here at The Period Ironmonger, since we last posted a few years ago now.

Firstly, Tom & Kotti made the huge decision to take time out for themselves and retired from The Period Ironmonger.  But, not before finding two like minded people to take over the helm and ensure that The Period Ironmonger continued providing great products for all those renovating and rebuilding their homes.

So in 2014 we (Richard & Jayne) worked alongside Kotti to learn the ropes and take over the business.  We relocated the offices a short way and are now located right on the borders of Shropshire, Staffordshire and Cheshire! 

We have kept The Period Ironmonger a small family run business, so that we can be sure that we provide everyone with the best, personal service we can.  Helping people with their individual needs, when it comes to sourcing and choosing the right ironmongery, has always been the key focus for The Period Ironmonger and we work hard to make sure we are continuing in Tom & Kotti's footsteps with this ethos.

A New Look as we Move Forward

Now we feel completely settled in the business we have started to make a few changes to help us move forward.

Our website has had a makeover!  We have made some improvements to the website to make it easier to navigate, provide better quality images and respond better to mobile devices - although I would say trying to view ironmongery on a phone is always tricky!

Please visit us at www.theperiodironmonger.co.uk and see what you think - if you have time to give us feedback that would be great too.

We are also trying to keep everyone up to date through social media, so if you want to you can follow us on:

Finally, we are adding new ranges of products to our website.  We have been working closely with our existing suppliers and also sourcing new ones to bring you a wider choice of styles and finishes.  Take a look at some of them here:

Constable Range

available in Standard and Large Sizes

This grand Constable Centre Door Pull comes in 3 sizes

  • Small
  • Standard
  • Extra Large

Regency Reeded Range

Also available in Polished Chrome, Polished Nickel and Aged Bronze

Also available in Aged Brass and Polished Nickel

Matching Casement Fastener and Stay available

Other finishes - Polished Nickel and Aged Brass

Also available in Aged Brass

Authentic Period Reproductions

A traditional Aged Brass Foley Bell Push

Based on a Victorian design

Also available in Polished Nickel

Stunning Polished Nickel Burcot Door Knobs

Based on a Regency design

Also available in Polished Brass Unlacquered

Flush Door Fittings

We have a wide range of Flush Door Fittings that are handcrafted in the UK and available in a wide range of Brass, Chrome, Nickel and Bronze finishes.  Here is just one example of these beautiful pieces.

A neat Circular Flush Handle

Please do visit our website and take a look at the beautiful door and window furniture we have available.  Our site contains our most popular products and new additions - if you can't find what you are looking for, please do call us as we have access to a much wider range of products.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Understanding Mortice and Sashlocks

Please 'click' on the image to expand it.

The Period Ironmonger now stocks a wide range of Architectural 3 lever mortice locks, Mortice Bathroom locks and Mortice latches so we have decided to explain the terminology and describe the parts of the mortice lock to give you an idea of the things you need to consider when purchasing one. 

Most of us do this type of work along with house building or house renovation so there may well be a builder involved in the project to offer some advice. If you are in any doubt as to what you require please give us a ring and we will be glad to advise you.
A mortice lock or latch is fitted inside your door so the only visible part is the 'outer forend' with the latchbolt and deadbolt protruding from it, the other type of lock is a rim-lock or latch (shown left) which is attached to the outside of the door frame. 

The image above shows a Sashlock, these locks have two bolts, the latchbolt and deadbolt, the latchbolt is operated by a lever mechanism using either a door knob or lever handle and the deadbolt is operated using a key which in turn again operates a lever mechanism.

The main consideration when purchasing a mortice lock is do you want to use  lever handles or door knobs when the lock is fitted, this will normally determine the Backset (B) which will ultimately let you know the size of the aperture required in the door to house the Lockcase (A). The reason you need to decide before buying the mortice lock is, if you use door knobs and the Backset is on the smaller side you may end up catching your hand on the door frame when you open the door as it will bring the knob closer to the edge of the door. 

If on the other hand you decide to use lever handles a smaller Backset would be preferable as you wouldn't want the handles too far in from the edge of the door (if in doubt please don't hesitate to ask us)

We now also supply a selection of mortice bathroom locks, (shown right) these work on the same principle as the Sashlock except that the deadbolt is now operated by a small knob on the inside of the door called a 'turn and release', this replaces the need for a key.

We sell a range of door knobs and lever handles both period or contemporary that would complement the mortice and rim locks we sell and a beautiful range of reproduction door furniture which includes Bell Pulls, Letter plates and Door Knockers  are all based on original Victorian and Edwardian designs.

Saturday, 3 March 2012

The Beauty of Glass Knobs

The Period Ironmonger would like to introduce you to our wide variety of beautiful glass door and cupboard knobs.   

Our Bespoke Handmade Glass Knobs are designed and made by a British Artisan who is well known and respected worldwide; these stunning knobs are supplied with a concealed rose so none of the fixing screws are visible.

Each knob is individually made by the Artisan in England and is available in many different colours, but we showcase the three most popular –  Peridot Green, Clear and Amber.  Available in a range of styles, although again we bring you the most popular, Smooth Bun, Daisy Flower, Balloon and Whirl.  

The Artisan also makes complimentary cupboard knobs to match the colours and designs of each door knob and he uses designs that are unique to his company.

The Smooth Bun and Balloon cupboard knobs are available in sizes from 31 - 50mm.

The Whirl and Daisy Flower come in three sizes - 40mm, 44mm and 50mm.

We showcase the Amber, Peridot and Clear in both our Door Knobs and Cupboard Knobs ranges, but the Artisan also offers range of Blues and Purples - please contact us for more information.

All of the styles are available in either Regular Glass or Frosted Glass.

The Concealed Roses and Collars are available in Polished Brass Unlacquered, Satin Brass, Polished Nickel, Satin Nickel, Polished Chrome, Satin Chrome, Polished Silver, Satin Silver, Antique Brass and Oil Rubbed Bronze.

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

The Claverley Bell Pull – installation instructions.

The Period Ironmonger’s range of Bell Pulls all are all faithfully reproduced from Victorian and Edwardian originals, these instructions are for the installation of the Claverley Bell Pull, please see other blogs for the installation of the Winchester and Lichfield Bell Pulls

TOOLS REQUIRED: Electric Drill – 6, 8 & 25mm masonry drill bits – Slotted screwdriver – Junior hacksaw (or similar) – Scissors.

Decide upon the height and location of your bell fittings (both internal and external)

The screws and wall plugs supplied are only suitable for use in solid walls. If fitting to other types of wall please source suitable fixings from your local hardware store.

Ensure there are no hidden service pipes or cables where you intend to drill.

The external fittings MUST be fitted first.

Step 1. Mark the location of where you wish the bell cord to pass through the brickwork. Drill this hole using a 25mm drill bit.

Step 2. Place the plastic tube supplied into the 25mm hole drilled in the brickwork. This will act as a liner against dust and help protect the bell cord.

Step 3. Slip the wooden back plate onto the bell pull plate (A)

Step 4. Insert the pull rod (i) on the bell pull plate into the plastic tube and push both plates up tight against the brickwork. Ensure that the word ‘PULL’ on the knob is perfectly horizontal and that the holes in both plates are aligned. Mark the position of the 4 holes on the brick work. Remove assembly and drill holes using an 8mm masonry bit and plug them with the wall plugs supplied.

Step 5. Before screwing both plates to the wall, tie your bell cord to the ‘attachment hole’ on the pull rod (i) and push the end of the cord through the plastic tube liner in the wall.

Step 6. From inside the house push the plastic tube hard against the assembly (A). Mark where the tube enters the inside wall. Remove the tube and cut it to length. Replace the tube ensuring that it sits flush with the inside wall and does not protrude.

Step 7. Thread the bell pull cord through hole (ii) in the blanking pulley (B). Place the blanking pulley in position, ensuring that the wheel on the pulley is running in the right direction and that hole (ii) is central to the plastic tube. Mark the position of the 3 fixing holes and drill with a 6mm drill bit. Plug each hole and secure the pulley with the screws.

CLEANING - Dust periodically with a soft dry cloth.

Please click on the links provided to look at the fitting instructions for the Winchester and Lichfield Bell Pulls

Monday, 9 January 2012

Brief History of the Bell Pull

In 1744 during the reign of George II, a London periodical advertised the invention of a bell system that was destined to change the way that modern, well to do houses were run. The invention would afford the owners of the house more privacy and give them greater flexibility over the day to day chores their servants performed.

Before this bell system was conceived, a servant (normally male) would be present either outside or just inside the entrance door to any main room, waiting to obey their owners commands. A servant’s life during this era was not an easy one; electricity hadn’t been invented, so fires needed tending throughout the day for heating, washing and cooking. Candles and oil lamps needed lighting and looking after, just a few of the duties that required the servant to be present at all times. 

The new bell system worked with copper wires and pulleys. A brass handle was mounted on the wall (next to the fireplace or chimney-piece) when the handle was pulled it would operate a sprung bell outside the room. Normally there would be a bell allocated to each room in the house as well as one for the front door, so a panel would be mounted either in the servants quarters, in the hallway  or kitchen, with all of the bells fixed to it. Each bell would have a label under it to indicate which room it was pertaining to and when the servants heard a bell ringing they could quite easily see which room required their services.

The invention of the bell system allowed servants to carry out other important chores below stairs and still be available should they be summoned by their superiors to carry out a task or visitors ringing the front door bell. It also gave the owners of the house their privacy back as they no longer required a footman to be ever present.

The Victorians took the bell pull system to another level, wires running in copper pipes were concealed behind plasterwork or under floorboards, they also used sprung pulleys so the wires could turn corners thus allowing the bells to be situated further away from the main rooms in the house. The external bell pull was either a rod mounted on the wall adjacent to the main front entrance door or a Pull Knob similar to our Claverley Bell Pull  - All of our Bell Pulls are reproductions of Victorian originals.

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Lichfield Bell Pull with internal spring - fitting

• Lichfield bell pull rod assembly 
• Internal & external blanking pulleys (2) 
• Wall return spring 
• Large plastic liner sleeve 
• Small plastic liner sleeve 
• Wall plugs and screws 
• 3.5 metres of nylon cord

• Electric drill
• Spirit level
• 26mm & 8mm masonry drill bits
• Slotted screwdriver
• Junior hacksaw (or similar)
• Small hammer
• Scissors
• Sandpaper
• Pliers
• Matches or cigarette lighter.

• Familiarise yourself, fully, with these fitting instructions as this may influence the height and location of your pull.

• The return spring is located within the wall. The wall you secure your pull to must therefore be at least 9 inches thick.

• The screws and wall plugs supplied are only suitable for use in solid walls. If fitting to other types of wall please source suitable fixings from your local hardware store.

• Ensure there are no hidden service pipes or cables where you intend to drill.

•  Step 1. With the pull rod vertical and the bottom bracket positioned approximately 25mm above the handle (see Fig.2), mark the position of the four screw holes (in this bracket) on the brickwork.
Step 2. Drill the four holes from Step 1 (40mm deep) using an 8mm masonry drill. Insert the shorter wall plugs and then temporarily secure the bottom bracket.
Step 3. Ensuring that the rod is vertical and that the bottom bracket is located approx 25mm above the handle, allow the top bracket to slide down onto the top ‘stop’ collar (see Fig.3). Mark the position of the four holes (in this bracket) on the brickwork.
Step 4. Drill the four screw holes from Step 3 (50mm deep) using an 8mm masonry drill. Insert the longer wall plugs into the holes and then temporarily secure the top bracket. The rod should now slide freely inside the bracket.
Step 5. Position the rod so that the top ‘stop’ collar is once again touching the top bracket. Mark the wall 40mm, vertically, above the hole in the top of the Beehive capping knob. Now, remove the bell rod assembly.
Step 6. The mark made in Step 5 is for the 26mm hole that will house the wall return spring.  This 26mm hole will need to pass horizontally, through the entire wall thickness. Drill this hole with a smaller pilot drill first. Then pass the 26mm drill through half of the wall from both sides (i.e: inside and outside). This will minimise the problem of cracks in the internal plaster and/or brickwork.
Step 7. Re-screw the bell rod assembly onto the wall.
Step 8. Position the hole in the blanking pulley directly over the centre of the 26mm hole, making sure that the ‘V’ in the pulley is aligned with the hole in the top of the Beehive capping
knob. Mark the position of the four screw holes in the blanking pulley, on the brickwork. Before you drill these holes cover your pull with a cloth, or similar, to protect it from brick dust. Drill (50mm deep) and plug these holes with the longer wall plugs (see Step 2). N.B: Do not fit the pulley at this stage.
Step 9. Cut off approximately half a metre of cord. Seal both ends of the fraying cord using the flame of a match or lighter. Attach the one end to the front of the wall return spring. Now pick up the small length of plastic tube (If you need to cut the tubing do not cut this length, cut the longer length). Pass the cord you have just attached, through this tube and slide the tube onto the front shoulder of the return spring (see Fig.4).
Step 10. Slide approximately 300mm of the remaining length of cord through the other (longer) plastic tube. Tie this end to the back of the return spring. Now slide the tube onto the back shoulder of the return spring.
Step 11. Tuck the cord, attached to the front of the spring, into the tube. Now, from inside the house, push this end of the spring assembly through the hole, until it is flush with the outside wall. Recover the end of the cord and pass it through the hole in the blanking pulley. Attach this blanking pulley to the outside wall.

Step 12. From inside the house push the spring assembly, hard, onto the outside wall pulley.  Mark the plastic tube where it emerges from the inside wall. To cut this tube, you will have to  withdraw the spring assembly. Before you do this, tie the end of the cord on the outside wall, loosely, to the Beehive capping knob (This will prevent the cord pulling through the outside  blanking pulley). Withdraw the spring assembly and remove the ‘long’ tube. Cut the tube, where marked. Replace the cut tube and return the spring assembly by pulling the cord on the outside of the house. Fit the inside blanking pulley (drilling 40mm holes) ensuring that the ‘V’ in the pulley is aligned with your bell, or your next pulley. Attach this end of cord to your bell. Seal the end of the fraying cord using the flame of a match or lighter.
Step 13. You now need to ‘attach’ the cord (on the outside of the house) to the pull assembly. To do this, unscrew the capping knob and pass the cord through the hole in the top. Tie one  ‘granny’ knot in the cord and gently pull the capping knob until the knot is trapped inside. Do not remove the excess cord at this stage. Now, with the ‘stop’ collar of the rod touching the top bracket, ensure that the cord is taut and place the capping knob alongside the thread on the top of the rod. This will allow you to see if when the knob is fully screwed on, the knot you have tied is in the right place. Re-do this knot as necessary. Tie a second knot in the cord (on top of the first) then remove the excess and trap both knots inside the capping knob. Now screw the knob onto the rod (P.S: A second pair of hands will be of use in this process. Also, you may find that holding the cord immediately above the knob, with pliers, is helpful). 

Your bell pull is now ready for use.

Dust periodically with a soft dry cloth. (Important: If you have purchased a Lichfield bell pull in a ‘black’ finish, under no circumstances use an abrasive cloth or cleaning agent.)

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Design Registration Numbers

Please click on images to expand them.

Following on from a previous blog regarding Diamond Registration Marks, we at The Period Ironmonger have decided to try and explain how Design Registration Numbers work and which design era's they are pertaining to.  

There are quite a few architectural eras and many of them overlap especially during the reign of Queen Victoria 1839-1901. In the blog I have included a chart entitled 'Design Registration Number Key', using this together with the previous blog on Registered Designs - Registered Designs Diamond Registration Mark - 1842-1867 & 1868-1883  you can put a date and design era to any of your pieces. Design Registration Numbers superseded the Diamond Registration Mark in 1884 so this is the date we will start with.

The Georgian era started in 1720 and culminated in 1839, in the 119 years it existed there were four Kings on the throne. George I of Great Britain, George II of Great Britain, George III of the United Kingdom and George IV of the United Kingdom. 

In our our 'Diamond Registration Marks' blog we explain that although an initial committee of MP's was set up to determine how the scheme would work in 1835 during the reign of George IV, the laws passed regarding registered designs didn't begin until 1842 when Queen Victoria was on the throne. 

From the end of the Georgian period to present date there have been many quite diverse architectural era's, here are a few that may be of interest:- Jacobethan Revival (1830–70 the precursor to the Queen Anne style), Gothic Revival (1840 -1880), Neo-Grec (1845–65) includes Neoclassicism, early Neo-Renaissance now called the Greek Revival style, Second Empire (1865–80; originated in France sometimes called the Napoleon III style), Queen Anne (1870–1910), British Arts and Crafts movement (1880–1910), Art Nouveau - (1890-1905), Art Deco - (1920-1930 also revival in the 1960's).

The letter plate in the picture has been cleaned and refurbished by The Period Ironmonger, the number on the back of the letter plate is - Rd 419804, from the Design Registration Number Key you can make out that this falls between 1903-1904 and from the list of architectural era's shown above you can see that this is an Art Nouveau letter plate.

We have a Reclaimed and Refurbished section on our web-site at The Period Ironmonger, If you are looking for original quality letter plates, door knockers, door knobs or any period hardware please take a look, if what you are after isn't there please don't hesitate to call us and see if we can find what you are after. 

Thursday, 15 July 2010

Inside the Davenport Rim Lock

The Period Ironmonger is taking this opportunity to show you the working mechanism of a basic Victorian Rim Lock. We have taken the back off one of our Davenport Rim Locks which is the exact copy of a 19th century lock and labeled some of the key parts of the internal mechanism.

A brief history: Wolverhampton, Willenhall and Wednesfield, all in the Black Country, were know to be the main lock making areas in Great Britain from as early as the mid eighteenth century. In 1770 these three small towns  had approximately 280 lock manufacturers, this number has now decreased significantly and as we moved from the 20th to 21st century the number was around 20. Names like Carpenter & Tildesley, Yale, Union, Legge, H & T Vaughan, Josiah Parkes and Henry Squire (to name a few) were all successful manufacturers in these areas sadly today all but a few remain.

The single lever lock was one of the first to be mass produced in England and our Davenport Rim Lock, Cromwell, Victorian and Regency Rim Latches are all made from copies of these earlier locks and the internal mechanisms are replicas of the originals.

Monday, 28 June 2010

Determining how a door is handed

Please click on the images to expand them

In this blog The Period Ironmonger is going to try and explain the complexities of determining how a door is handed. We have been asked why some of our Thumb and Cottage Latches are described as ‘handed’ – left or right hand, hopefully this will explain why and how they work.

Firstly I’ll explain the different ways a door can be handed. Looking on various web-sites you will probably find there are a few conflicting opinions of how to establish whether a door is handed left or right based mainly on whether you stand inside or outside the room but here are the basic principles – if you stand outside your front door and fold your arms out in front of you (your elbows are the hinges) move one hand and arm in whichever direction the door opens. If your right hand is moving away from you then your door is Right Handed. If your left hand is moving away then it is Left Handed. If your right hand is moving towards you, your door is Right Hand Reversed and if your left hand is coming toward you it is Left Hand Reversed. 

The Thumb Latch above is designed to fit a left hand door - Left Hand Door swinging in. As you stand looking at the door the handle would be on the right hand side of the door with the hinges on the left hand side. The arm of the latch would be on the interior side directly behind the handle.

The Thumb Latch opposite fits on a right handed door - Right Hand Door swinging in. Facing the door as it swings away from you the handle will be on the left hand side and the door hinges on the right hand side, the arm of the latch will be on the interior directly behind the handle.

Please note that the information we impart is for the Thumb Latches shown, if you are buying a new door or having a door fitted please consult your supplier for their interpretation of how they 'hand' doors. As I said earlier different web-sites give differing views.

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

'The Ironmonger & Metal Trades Advertiser' & The Sanitary Paper Company, Bury Street, London 1884

Please click on the images to expand them

The Period Ironmonger takes you back in time with the  reproduction of the 1884 toilet roll holder manufactured by  The Sanitary Paper Company of Bury Street, London .

The Toilet Roll Holder made it's first appearance in The Ironmonger and Metal Trades Advertiser on July 5th 1884 and was declared to be the first of its kind to use un-perforated paper.

Extract from the 'Ironmonger' (a copy of this is also included when you buy the holder)

'The Sanitary Paper Company show example rolls of toilet-paper and patterns of bronzed holders for the same. The paper rolls are prepared to lengths of 500 feet each and, instead of being perforated at set distances, the means of removing pieces as required is provided in a cutter which is formed by the front edge of the projecting top of the holder'

Now manufactured in aged brass and aged nickel, both are supplied mounted on an oak back-plate. The holders are made from cast brass to give them longevity in a bathroom environment, if they were manufactured in cast iron there would be a possibility of rust appearing if the holder was not cared for properly. Brass does not corrode therefore there is no chance the holder will deteriorate  in damp or humid surroundings.The nickel version is plated and hand finished with aging solution.

The original toilet roll holder was discovered by a good friend of ours a few years ago, he was so taken with it that he bought the title to the Sanitary Paper Company and he now holds the patent to the design.  Ironically we had an order from a gentleman in Australia requesting this toilet roll holder for his bathroom and he sent us a photograph of an original one he has in his toilet, it had the registration mark cast in the back proving it's authenticity. We were amazed that one had turned up on the other side of the world.

These products are cast in the same brass as the TPIM Period Hardware range and will match any of our door knobs, rim locks, and door bolts.

We supply the product with all of the relevant fixings, fitting instructions and a copy of the original magazine extract in which it first appeared.

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Large Beehive Door Knobs

Please click on the images to expand them.

The Period Ironmonger has just released a new product in their Period Door Hardware range. We will soon be introducing a new Beehive escutcheon to complement these knobs.

We are happy to introduce our Large Beehive Door Knobs which are available in two finishes - Aged Brass and Nickel Silver. Both are stunning and like the rest of our Door Hardware range both are suitable for the period or contemporary home. They can be used with both mortise locks and Rim Locks. If used with a rim lock one of the roses is discarded as shown in the image with our Davenport Rim Lock.

The knobs are 58mm in diameter and project from the door 85mm with the rose in place. The rose diameter is 58mm and the knob projection without the rose is 73mm. The knobs are hollow cast and their total weight is approximately 742 grams.

The knobs are joined together with a threaded bar and secured with a small grub screw in the neck of the knob. The threaded bar allows micro-adjustment when tightening the knobs and this gives a smooth feel when the knobs are turned making them ideal for any width of door

The brass Beehive knobs are available now (25/05/10) and we are awaiting the arrival of the Nickel knobs and the new Beehive escutcheons, hopefully they will be with us in the near future.

Saturday, 22 May 2010

Registered Design - Diamond Registration Mark 1842-1867 & 1868-1883

Please click on the images to expand them

The reason The Period Ironmonger is publishing this blog is to explain how to read a Diamond Registered Design Mark or Lozenge Mark, but first I'll give you a very brief history of why and when they came about.
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
Over eight thousand designs were registered in the first year – 1842-1843. Once recoginsed as a viable safeguard for design ideas the system steadily grew and by 1883 registrations had gone well over sixteen thousand. This in itself caused problems as the system was somewhat complex so the implementation of a simpler version was introduced.The initial procedure involved allocating numbers and letters to each design but this became harder to keep track of, so on 1st January 1884 the diamond registration mark was dropped and a new system was introduced, this scheme still exists today in the same form.

Reading the Diamond Registration Mark 1842-1867

I have included a chart to show how the Material, Year, Month, Day and Bundle are worked out and once examined it really is self explanatory.
So in the first example (figure 1) Class of Material = 1 – Metal, underneath that is The Year of Registration – N = 1864. Moving clockwise we have the number 26, this is the day of the month, then, the number 7 – this is the bundle or batch number. Next is the letter W, if you look at the chart (figure 2) you can see that this is for the month of March. So the date of registration for this item is 26th March 1864. This example is taken from a Goats Head Door Knocker (figure 2a) we have on our site under the Reclaimed and Refurbished section. The knocker was manufactured by Archibald Kenrick & Sons of West Bromwich.

Reading the Diamond Registration Mark 1868-1883

In 1867 the key to the identification of Diamond Registration Marks changed slightly so I’ve included a second example.

On the second Diamond Mark (figure 3) you can see that at the top is the number 1, this hasn’t changed, again this is the class off material. Underneath this is the number 25, this has now changed to the day of the month, moving clockwise is the letter E this is now the year and looking at the chart you’ll see that this 1881. At the bottom is the letter I, this is the month and the 1868-1883 chart shows that this is July. Then we have the number 7, this is the bundle or batch. So the date for this Diamond Registration Mark is 25th July 1881.

If you are interested in Period Door Hardware of the highest quality please visit our web-site - https://www.theperiodironmonger.co.uk/. We supply Handmade Bespoke Glass Knobs, Rim Locks and Latches , Letterboxes, Centre Pulls, Door KnockersBell Pulls and Door Knobs all faithfully produced from Victorian and Edwardian originals that were discovered at local iron founders in the  Black Country.

Please click on the following links to look at our range of complimentary Art Deco door furniture - escutcheons, pull handles, lever handles with privacy turn (for bathrooms), letter plates, lever lock handles, door centre pull, lever handles, door knocker, cylinder pull, door knobs, and privacy turn.

Also please click on the following links for our Art Deco window and cabinet furniture - locking casement stay, casement fastener with hook plate, casement stay, casement fastener with mortice plate, large cabinet knob, small cabinet knob.

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Lichfield Bell Pulls

The Period Ironmonger is proud to announce that we have introduced three new, sprung Bell Pulls into our range of door hardware. 

The Lichfield is available in three different finishes - Aged Brass, Aged Nickel and Antique Blackened Brass. All of the bell pulls are made out of solid brass to avoid corrosion and are of the Gothic revival style.

Our Antique Blackened Brass replicates a wrought iron finish so popular with country properties but avoids the problem of rust. All are ideal for use with our period internal bell.

Each Bell Pull comes complete with its own return spring which locates, out of sight, in the wall and ensures that the pull returns to its set position each time. IMPORTANT - Please not that the return spring is only suitable for double cavity (or thicker) walls. 
Also included are: matching internal blanking pulley, plastic dust liners, nylon cord, screws, rawlplugs and fitting instructions.

The dimensions of the Lichfield Bell Pulls are - Height 720mm - Width 102mm - Projection 67mm

Our internal Butlers Bells are also available in aged brass and aged nickel and are a perfect compliment to the new Lichfield bell pulls. We don't manufacture an Antique Black Butlers Bell but we can provide the Extension Pulley and the Directional Pulley in antique black if required, please contact us if that is your requirement as they are only made to order at present.

Our wall return spring is available for separate purchase and is the ideal  way to spring load old, tired or broken bell pull systems (POA). Suitable for double cavity (or thicker) walls ONLY. The reason this bell pull system is only suited to double cavity walls is due to the length of the return spring, because it is 240mm long it would be unsuitable to fit in a single wall.

If you have a single cavity wall our Winchester Bell Pull may be the option you require as the return spring is located on the bell pull itself.

The dimensions for the wall return spring are - Minimum length 240mm - Diameter 26mm - Maximum recommended weight of pull rod 1kg.

As with all of our Period Door Hardware range none of the items are lacquered, tarnishing will occur on the brass bell pull over a period of time and we prefer that it is left to age gracefully and build up it's own patina as it would have in out forefathers era. If you quite like a shiny finish the brass pull can be cleaned with recognised metal cleaner or simply dusted periodically with a dry, clean cloth. The aged nickel and antique blackened brass pulls need only to be wiped occasionally  - DON'T USE ANYTHING ABRASIVE ON THESE BELL PULLS

Our Bell Pull systems are relatively easy to fit if you are an experienced DIY enthusiast. If you feel you don't have the skills to fit the system then calling in a professional would probably be the best course of action, it isn't hard to fit and doesn't take long so should be fairly inexpensive. 

Sunday, 11 October 2009

How to clean and care for your brass

Before we start on how and when your brass should be cleaned I’ll endeavour to explain the complexities of the metal and why some brass is yellow and another is nearly white.

The dictionary definition of brass is that it is an alloy of copper and zinc but the percentage of zinc and copper can vary greatly giving us many different types and hues of brass. Types range from Cartridge Brass (30% zinc) to Tombac which has a 15% zinc content and is used mainly in jewellery. As you can imagine the higher the copper content the darker the brass will be whereas higher zinc content will give the brass a whitish yellow appearance.When first cleaned your brass will in all probability look very pale (Classic Letterbox - below) but this shouldn’t lead to concern as when it is left exposed to the elements for a few days it will darken or tarnish and will take on a rich mellow patina. Modern brass hardware is normally lacquered to eliminate tarnishing but in time the lacquer is prone to peeling or blistering unless it is put on through Electrophoresis.

Our personal view is, we don’t really like lacquering and prefer to see door furniture (Door Knockers, Letterplates, Centre Pulls, Door Knobs etc) build up a mature patina over its lifetime. That isn’t to say we don’t like clean hardware but there are ways to have the best of both worlds and that is the reason for this blog.
1) Never use anything abrasive on your brass such as wire wool or a scouring pad; it will leave marks, I promise.
2) Before you decide to use any of the market brands of metal polish try some warm soapy water and a soft nail brush. This will remove the dirt and grime as well as clean your brass, dry off with a lint free cloth and you’ll see straight away what I mean about patina. The surface exposed to cleaning will be shiny whereas the crevasses will be slightly darker giving an aged appearance, over time cleaning like this will give your hardware that mature mellow appearance I mentioned above.
3) There are various natural and household products that are quite effective when cleaning any stubborn stains and grime on brass, here are a few we would recommend.

o Lemon - Cut a lemon in half and remove any visible seeds, sprinkle a little household salt on to a board and dip the cut side of the lemon into the salt, holding the rind gently rub your brass surface with the cut face of the lemon (you may need to dip back into the salt occasionally) then wash or wipe with warm soapy water before wiping dry with a clean dry cloth.
o Sauces - Acidic sauces such as Ketchup and Worcestershire Sauce are also good alternatives for cleaning brass. Using a clean, damp cloth, gently cover the brass with the sauce and leave for about a minute, then using another clean cloth wipe it off, again wash with warm sopy water and then dry witha soft clean cloth. It will give a good result but not as good as lemon and salt.
o Toothpaste – Although not as effective as the above two, toothpaste is a gentle way of cleaning hard to get at areas on any brass objects, even more effective when using a toothbrush
o Onions, salt and vinegar and ammonia will also be quite effective when cleaning brass but if the above doesn’t meet your needs then you may want to try using a good recognised metal polish such as Brasso, remember to read the manufacturers instructions and keep away from naked flames.

If you are an eco-warrior or just like to save a few pence then lemon and salt will be your best route to shiny door hardware, if you are not, then we recommend a metal polish along the lines of Brasso. When using any of the above it would be advisable to wear something to protect your hands such as rubber or latex gloves.

Aftercare – When your brass has been cleaned and is dry you can protect it with a beeswax furniture polish spray, just a light spray and wipe off any excess. This will leave a thin coat of beeswax on your brass and will extend the time between cleaning.