Antique Custom Made Knobs

When looking through my history of American furniture encylopedia I came across some cool old style custom cabinet knobs from 1700-1800s .These were particularly interesting to me since we have a large line of DIY hardware parts for making your own knobs with pictures or scenery just like these!

Of course back in the day these were expensive custom pieces and no one who wasn’t rich could really afford them. So glad times have changed! Below I’ll show off some of the neater ones I found and also post a few of the cool knobs people have made with our bases at the bottom.

Most of these knobs are enamel with prints via a paper transfer and then set in a copper base. They had to transfer copper engravings onto paper first so it was quite the process! Then they are typically set in a brass base and screw post. We have a lot of fun examples. Many of these pieces were made from governors or members of the government as custom pieces and gifts which makes sense as they would have been very pricey back at that time.

 To start off we have a set of knobs customized with General George Washington’s depiction. You can see even from the old photos that these knobs had amazing details for items produced pre-1800.

Antique George Washington Cabinet Knobs

General George Washington Cabinet Knob
The next couple are of state governors of the time. Governor Huntington and Governor Morris.

Antique Huntington Knob

Governmor Morris Cabinet Knob
Many knobs were made for the well off and would feature portraits of the husband and wife or depictions of family crests or symbols. Pictures of subjects of special interest to the family or of local importance would enshrine a history and make permanent record of events that at the same time added a pleasing and decorative feature.
Antique husband and wife knobs
family crests
Others were more for decoration and would feature scenes from life at the time. In the following images you can see a woman leaning on an anchor, a young flautist, a young girl in a bonnet, and several scenes of a woman enjoying nature.
antique cabinet knobs

antique cabinet knobs - girl in bonnet

antique cabinet knobs - flautist

Girl with tree  antique cabinet knobs

antique cabinet knobs - woman and dog
And just to sum up I’ll show off just one shot of some customized cabinet knobs made by Cher at Designs by Studio C in a project done for this very blog. With our custom knob parts you can take any photo you want and protect it behind a glass cabochon and display whatever you want from patterns to photos.
D lawless hardware custom knobs
I hope this interests more people than me lol!

Moss Avenue Antiques & Collectibles Festival

I had the pleasure of visiting the Moss Avenue Antique Sale & Festival in Peoria, IL this past weekend as it was just a few blocks from my house and it had all sorts of awesome “junk’ and antique for sale. I always need something to write about and this seems right down our customer’s alley so I figured I’d just post up all the photos I got from the event.

Moss Avenue is a beautiful historic street up on the first Peoria bluff. The houses are true old style beauties and all their enormous front yards were filled with booths from local antiquers and furniture dealers. Quite the event and definitely worth the trip again next summer! I’ll give a brief explanation of some of the pictures, but most are self explanatory. I’m sorry to the businesses I don’t mention but I was having a good time and didn’t get a chance to match up the names with the booths…next year I’ll be prepared!

Moss Avenue Antiques Festival - Peoria, IL
Moss Avenue Antique Festival - Peoria, IL
Beautiful historic houses up and down the street!
Moss Avenue Antiques Festival - Peoria, IL

Historic Moss Avenue Home - D. Lawless Hardware

Historic Peoria IL Home - Moss Avenue - D. Lawless Hardware

And now back to the antiques and collectibles! Again, I wish I could tag all these wonderful local businesses but I was derelict in my duty…

Antique Saddle - Moss Avenue - D. Lawless Hardware

Collectibles - Moss Avenue - D. Lawless Hardware

License Plates - Moss Avenue - Peoria IL - Lawless Hardware

You gotta dig for the good stuff!

Old Cigarettes - Moss Avenue - Peoria IL - Lawless Hardware

Searching - Moss Avenue - Peoria IL - Lawless Hardware

All sorts of American brand memorabilia from way back! I love these to rivaling benches made from old Chevy and Ford truck parts!

Chevy Bench - Moss Avenue - Peoria IL - Lawless Hardware

Ford Bench - Moss Avenue - Peoria IL - Lawless Hardware

There were lots of handmade jewelry vendors and people doing beautiful furniture makeovers. Lots of the business were even taking custom orders from customers throughout the day so it’s a great event for finding local talent to redo your piece for you.

Stuff - Moss Avenue - Peoria IL - Lawless Hardware

Right in the middle there is this beautiful Frank Lloyd Wright house! You can really tell it’s his architecture and I’m told there are actually three Wright house in Peoria.

Frank Lloyd Wright - Moss Avenue - Peoria IL - Lawless Hardware

Furniture - Moss Avenue - Peoria IL - Lawless Hardware

Furniture Makeovers - Moss Avenue - Peoria IL - Lawless Hardware

Trinkets, jewelry, and “junk!”

This and That - Moss Avenue - Peoria IL - Lawless Hardware

Jewelry - Moss Avenue - Peoria IL - Lawless Hardware

War History - Moss Avenue - Peoria IL - Lawless Hardware

Old War Memorabilia - Moss Avenue - Peoria IL - Lawless Hardware

The whole street is absolutely beautiful on both sides as you can from the next few shots. They even had live music on a couple of the porches up and down the block.

Live Music - Moss Avenue - Peoria IL - Lawless Hardware

Moss Avenue - Peoria IL - Lawless Hardware

Overall it was a great time and I’m looking forward to attending next year and documenting the small businesses better. I did have the opportunity to meet several which I hope to be work
ing with in the near future. See you there next year if you are in the area, it’s worth the drive and remember that the early bird gets the worm! We got a couple nice pieces, one from Modern Mutations, but a lot of dealers were closing up as we didn’t get there til too late!

White Clad Ice Box Hardware and History

D. Lawless has some fine ice box hardware for you to install. The history of ice and iceboxes is very rich and goes back a long way. Here is a snippet of that history. The harvesting of snow and ice began with a patent in 1637 for Sir William Berkeley, the governor of Virginia. This patent granted him a monopoly on the sale of snow and ice for the better half of two decades. Meanwhile in New England, in the late 1700’s, local farmers cut ice from ponds and lakes to store their apples and vegetables in underground ice houses. Robert Morris, whose home was used as the presidential mansion, until the capitol moved to Washington D.C., had an ice pit where food could be preserved and ice stored for cooling drinks. Following this model, George Washington built his ice house in Mt. Vernon. However, the ice was not keeping so well, farmers and plantation owners needed to experiment with the materials used for preserving the ice.

Morris wrote to Washington providing some helpful advice, and by 1790, Washington was able to keep his ice until August, not quite as long as Morris’ ice in Philadelphia, which kept til October. The octagon shaped pit that stored the ice, had a stone lining to reduce heat loss. When the capitol moved to D.C., there was no ice house until Thomas Jefferson, in 1802, had one built in Monticello. This ice house, filled in December, would typically keep until September or mid October depending upon the hardness of the ice. The ice house was modeled after ones Jefferson had seen in Italy and of plantation owners in Virginia.

The natural ice harvesting industry began in the early 1800’s with Frederic Tudor starting a distribution network and becoming known as the “ice king.” The process of ice harvesting resembled that of crop harvesting. Horses pulled plow like ice cutters across frozen lakes and ponds. Before the ice was to be cut, it was measured to ensure that it was thick enough for transportation to far flung locations. Anything less than 8 inches would melt too quickly. Fredric Tudor, who began the ice trade in New England, by the mid 1800’s, was shipping ice to every major port in Asia, Austrailia, South America, and the Caribbeans. Depending upon where the ice was delivered, customers could purchase his ice from four to six cents per pound. By the late 1800’s, many American households stored their perishable food in insulated iceboxes. These iceboxes were made of wood and lined with tin or zinc resembling the antiques and restoration iceboxes we see today.
Our customers have captured the icebox feature look using our hardware in a couple of different restoration or repurpose projects. Let’s take a look.

ice box bedside table
Clockwork Interiors has this furniture before and after with an old icebox using our White Clad hardware to make a bedside table.
ice box dresser

Sawdust Two Stitches does a fantastic dresser repurpose so good you can hardly even see the old piece and turns it into a large icebox replica.
The two beautiful pieces featured show the possibilities that you can create with a little ingenuity and a few pieces of White Clad ice box hardware. So get your creativity and get started on an icebox restoration!