13 black and white photographs of ornate antique door knobs

Black and white photographs of old doorknobs found in the small towns and along the backroads of America

In the Victorian era, intricate detail and surface ornamentation was a popular way to add elegance to one's home or business. From the 1860s until World War I, ornate metal doorknobs and handles could be found on even the most ordinary cottages and farmhouses, adding a touch of detail to otherwise functional objects. The Great War caused a metal shortage, resulting in the popularity of beautiful, jewel-like glass doorknobs which remained in vogue until the advent of modernism's clean lines in the 1950s. 

Photographs of fancy old doorknobs by fine art photographer Keith Dotson

Below is a selection of ornate, often painted-over, and even rusty old door knobs and handles found on Keith's journeys through the small towns and backroads of America.

All images are available as fine art black and white prints

Black and white photograph of historic church doors in St. Augustine, Florida, by Keith Dotson. Click to buy a fine art print.

Black and white photograph of historic church doors in St. Augustine, Florida, by Keith Dotson. Click to buy a fine art print.

Black and white detail photograph of a weathered wooden door with a rusty ornate antique door knob seen in the Mississippi Delta. Click to buy a fine art print.

Black and white detail photograph of a weathered wooden door with a rusty ornate antique door knob seen in the Mississippi Delta. Click to buy a fine art print. 

Ornate Old Door Knob in an Abandoned Farm House. Black and white photograph by Keith Dotson. Buy a fine art print.

Ornate Old Door Knob in an Abandoned Farm House. Black and white photograph by Keith Dotson. Buy a fine art print.

Black and white architectural detail photograph of an ornately detailed old door pull on the door of an 1880s-era library building. Buy a fine art print.

Black and white architectural detail photograph of an ornately detailed old door pull on the door of an 1880s-era library building. Buy a fine art print. 

Black and white photograph of a beautifully decorative old door knob on an office building in a small city in the American South. Fine art print available here.Black and white photograph of a beautifully decorative old door knob on an office building in a small city in the American South. Fine art print available here

Black and white photograph of details in cracked paint and a bent ornate door handle on the doors of an abandoned building in a small town.

Black and white photograph of details in cracked paint and a bent ornate door handle on the doors of an abandoned building in a small town. Buy a fine art print here.

Black and white photograph of the historic front doors to the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, where Martin Luther King was the Paster and gave historic sermons. Buy a fine art print.

Black and white photograph of the historic front doors to the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, where Martin Luther King was the Pastor and gave historic sermons. Buy a fine art print

Black and white fine art photograph of a fancy door knob on a historic house in Houston, Texas.

Black and white fine art photograph of a fancy door knob on a historic house in Houston, Texas. Buy a fine art black and white print.

Black and white photograph of a beautifully textured old door on an abandoned building covered in cracked and peeling paint.

Black and white photograph of a beautifully textured old door on an abandoned building covered in cracked and peeling paint. Buy a fine art print.

Black and white photograph of a brass lone star door knob on a door leading into the Texas State Capitol Building in Austin. Fine art prints available here.

Black and white photograph of a brass lone star door knob on a door leading into the Texas State Capitol Building in Austin. Fine art prints available here.

Black and white photograph of a black door with ornate brass knob and faceplate, found on the campus of Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. Buy a fine art print here.

Black and white photograph of a black door with ornate brass knob and faceplate, found on the campus of Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. Buy a fine art print here.

Black and white detail photograph of a fancy door handle on the antique door on an abandoned Main Street in the ghost town of Pamplin City, Virginia. The street is lined with 11 historic, vacant buildings. Buy a print here.

Black and white detail photograph of a fancy door handle on the antique door on an abandoned Main Street in the ghost town of Pamplin City, Virginia. The street is lined with 11 historic, vacant buildings. Buy a print here.

Black and white architectural detail photograph of an old brass door handle on a textured black door in Madison, Wisconsin. Buy a fine art print here.

Black and white architectural detail photograph of an old brass door handle on a textured black door in Madison, Wisconsin. Buy a fine art print here.

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