America’s Gothic Revival Period began in the 1840’s and lasted through the remainder of the 19th century and into the early 20th century. Churches, hospitals, academic buildings, and grand estates built in the Gothic Revival style featured decorative architectural elements borrowed from European castles and cathedrals built from the 12th through 14th centuries. Many of these same Gothic decorative elements also embellished furniture and hardware of America's Gothic Revival Period. Gothic door hardware in particular was not only rich in the style’s architectural elements; it also took on the grand form of Gothic buildings.
The Gothic series of antique reproduction door hardware by Brass Accents is a faithful reproduction of Yale & Towne Company’s 1910 Colburg collection of Gothic Revival door hardware. The doorplate of this series is rich in ornamentation inspired by Gothic architectural elements. Below, we take a closer look at this doorplate in order to identify Gothic architectural elements that were the inspiration of some of its unique ornamentation.
In architecture the finial is a top or finishing stone of pinnacles. The pinnacle, which is the pointed summit of steep gable roofs of Gothic buildings, was often crowned with a decorative finial. Gothic finials are often stylized representations of foliage.
The ogee arch is a pointed arch with “s” shaped curves forming both sides. The Ogee arch is a hallmark design element of Gothic architecture.
Crockets are decorative elements similar to finials except that they project from the sloping angles of pinnacles. Crockets also typically represent stylized foliage.
Tracery is ornamental work consisting of an open pattern of interlacing ribs. Tracery is commonly found supporting window glass of Gothic buildings.
Trefoils within Lancet Arches
The trefoil is an architectural ornament in the form of three arcs arranged in a circle. The lancet arch is an arch that is narrow and pointed like the head of a lance or spear. Lancet arches and trefoils are common features of Gothic windows and molding.
Columns with Capitals
Capitals are the cap or crowns of columns. Depending on the period and location, Gothic columns and capitals were simple or highly decorated in design.
Stylized foliage ornamentation was a common decorative element throughout Gothic buildings.