Friday, October 26, 2012

Vintage Kitchen Design: Get A Grip On Handles For Vintage Kitchen Sink Faucets

Henry Ford once proclaimed that, "Any customer can have a car painted any color he wants so long as it is black." A similar principle applied to early kitchen sink faucets. Vintage kitchen faucets had a job to do and did not offer many options. Like Henry Ford's Model T, vintage kitchen sink faucets were utilitarian in their design. If you wanted fancy in the early 1900's, you chose a kitchen faucet with a soap dish mounted on the spout.

One of the few options available for vintage kitchen faucets was the style of handle. Early kitchen sink faucets were offered with a choice of lever handles or cross handles; which is one more handle option than Henry Ford would have likely provided. The faucet handles were either porcelain or metal. Porcelain handles usually had "hot" or "cold" indicators. Keeping with the utilitarian nature of the kitchen faucet, the labels weren't there for embellishment. Indoor plumbing was in its infancy and the labels aided the uninitiated in identify the handle's purpose.

Shop 4 Classics offers a large selection of antique reproduction kitchen sink faucets from Sign of the Crab, American Standard, and Antique Revelry. The number of faucet options for vintage kitchens would be considered garish by Henry Ford's standards. Like the originals, these kitchen faucets are offered with a choice of lever handles or cross handles. There are even a few fancy kitchen faucets that include a soap basket integrated into the spout. Visit Shop 4 Classics for an antique reproduction kitchen faucet for your vintage kitchen project.

Sign of the Crab Antique Reproduction Kitchen Sink Faucet

Friday, October 19, 2012

Tudor Furniture Hardware: Cast Iron Pulls & Knobs Fitting for Heavy Tudor Furniture

Cast Iron Tudor Pull
Original English Tudor homes of the later half of the 15th were sparsely furnished; a trait that was not carried forward to the Tudor Revival homes of the 19th and even less so with the Tudor Revival homes of 20th century. Whether original or revival, Tudor style furniture was commonly made from oak and featured ornate woodworking including carvings on flat surfaces and ornate turned wood legs, seatbacks, and arm rests. Embellished as it was, Tudor style furniture was not delicate or dainty. Tudor furniture was generally heavy and sturdy.

Like Tudor furniture, Tudor style knobs and pulls were heavy and sturdy. Iron, typically forged iron but later more commonly cast iron, was the metal of choice for Tudor furniture hardware. Tudor furniture hardware took on gothic shapes and often featured decorative, yet simple, designs of back plates and other flat surfaces. Forged iron hardware, which is created by hand by a skilled craftsman, is generally significantly more expensive than cast iron hardware that can be produced in bulk by less skilled labor. Therefore, cast iron knobs and pulls are much more commonly chosen to complete reproduction Tudor furniture today.

Cast Tudor Bail Pull
Shop 4 Classics offers one of the largest selections of cast iron knobs and pulls on the Net and much of this hardware is from Antique Revelry. Antique Revelry’s collection of black cast iron knobs includes rough cast iron cannon ball style knobs and square pyramid head knobs as well as more decorative knobs like its cabinet knob with an English rose design. The flat surfaces of Antique Revelry’s cast iron bin pulls and back plates of its cast iron bail pulls feature simple designs reminiscent of the carvings common to original Tudor furniture. Antique Revelry’s black cast iron ring pulls and cast iron pendent pulls feature gothic shaped back plates and simple and heavy drop rings and pendants making them an ideal compliment to Tudor style heavy oak furniture.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Period Plumbing and Hardware for Making Movie Magic

High-Tank Pull-Chain Toilet

It should be no surprise that we here at Shop 4 Classics are fans of period piece movies and television shows, especially early 1900's gangster productions.  Occasionally, we get an opportunity to contribute.  Set designers contact us to supply them with vintage plumbing and antique reproduction hardware to help set the scene.

Antique Basin Taps
Clawfoot tubs are an obvious choice for recreating a 1920's era bathroom.  A traditional clawfoot tub faucet, an iconic clawfoot tub drain with a rubber stopper, and a soap basket hanging over the rim of the clawfoot tub complete a bathtub scene.  A panoramic view might show a high-tank pull-chain toilet in the corner while a dapper dandy shaves over a pedestal sink with antique basin taps.

Kitchen scenes usually require a porcelain enameled cast iron drainboard kitchen sink equipped with a wall mounted kitchen faucetCast iron shelf brackets support kitchen shelves where sundries and various canned and pickled foods are stored.  Gravity baseboard heat registers and cast iron floor grates provide a realistic finishing touch to a kitchen scene from the Roaring Twenties.
Porcelain Enameled Cast Iron Drainboard Kitchen Sink
Doors and windows are equipped with hardware that looks as if it was just purchased from the Sears, Roebuck Home Builder's Catalog circa 1910.  Doors feature antique style solid brass door knobs with keyhole doorplates and antique mortise locks that make the scene appear to have been filmed in the good ol' days.  Brass sash locks and sash lifts contribute to reproducing a vintage double hung window that further authenticates the film.

It is a thrill to watch a period piece and think, "hey, we sell that".  The only thing better is to watch a period piece and think, "hey, I own that".  Authenticate your vintage bath, kitchen, or entire home with antique reproduction plumbing and hardware from Shop 4 Classics and make a little movie magic in your own home!