How do I commission a Medusa door knocker?
May 17, 2020 12:19 PM   Subscribe

I live in an apartment building with dramatic 8 ft wooden doors, and almost everyone has a unique door knocker. I want to up my game and have a slightly ominous door knocker that nods to my love of mythology, and have found this image. (This is also awesome, but I kind of prefer Medusa pre decapitation).

I apparently have terrible Google hunting skills, and can't figure out how to either find something similar or find someone to make something like this. Please help me figure out where to even start.

I am willing to spend some money on this, but not thousands.
posted by larthegreat to Home & Garden (17 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
If you search eBay for “Medusa door knocker” there are a ton.
posted by Slinga at 12:21 PM on May 17, 2020 [1 favorite]

Ah, I should have clarified that I'm looking for something less like this resin head, which is really common and something with a bit more gravitas/drama.

I want a classy medusa head
posted by larthegreat at 12:29 PM on May 17, 2020 [2 favorites]

posted by The otter lady at 12:56 PM on May 17, 2020

Etsy is a website that specializes as a marketplace for crafted and handmade items. A quick search revealed doorknockers and some are able to be personalized, mostly with just engravings. I didn't do a full search of the site to find a sculptor, but maybe you'll find what you're looking for or can email someone to help.
posted by Leontine at 12:59 PM on May 17, 2020

Here's one on Etsy made of brass. Another Etsy option.

A couple from Ebay: one, two (might have to turn this one into a knocker yourself).

Searching for "medusa door knocker antique" on Ebay turns up several nice ones that look like a woman's head (not obviously Medusa though).

Antique option, price not listed.

I know nothing about this site, but here's another one.

Probably more mass-produced looking than you want.

Also apparently the one in your image was found "on an old doorway in Italy."
posted by aka burlap at 1:00 PM on May 17, 2020 [1 favorite]

Some jewelers have the equipment to do this. Cast brass is a good search term. You might need to engage an actual foundry, which for a one off piece could be spendy.

But, uh, these folks at Wellstone Casting are selling an 18" cast bronze one of a kind horseshoe crab shell for $375, so.... uh maybe?

And Mystic Valley Foundry lists "door hardware" in their industries served area.

If these places can't make what you need, they might be able to connect you with someone who already does. Maybe see if you can find trade catalogs for brass casting? There might be advertising in some of them for smaller shops.

Another option is to see if you can hire a sculpture student who still has access to a workspace. They can provide you with sketches, and then make the mold and cast the brass.

Also, I love this and now I need a door that I can put a knocker on.
posted by bilabial at 1:49 PM on May 17, 2020 [3 favorites]

apparently the one in your image was found "on an old doorway in Italy."

True, but not just any old doorway. It's on the door of the Ministry of Finance in Rome. Maybe knowing that will lead to some good search terms?
posted by Too-Ticky at 2:52 PM on May 17, 2020 [4 favorites]

A different having-it-made approach; some museums have published high resolution 3D scans of their artifacts, allowing people to scale them up and down and add elements and print them out again - Shapeways, for instance, can print wax models for casting brass or bronze.

That might be pricy just because it’s a lot of bronze. Still, a joy forever. I would look into how to mount it to a strong door with all the bolt heads only inside, me. Oo, and the eyes could be actual peepholes.
posted by clew at 4:51 PM on May 17, 2020 [2 favorites]

I think it's one of a pair on the doors to the Ministry of Defense, not Finance (Ministero della Difesa Esercito, 7 Via Venti Settembre).
posted by Iris Gambol at 5:01 PM on May 17, 2020 [4 favorites]

Wow, Iris. Italian Wikipedia has its closeup listed on Finance!

I suppose you could commission someone to walk up with scanning equipment and image it. Depending on current state of lockdown, reuse of artistic patrimony, etc etc.
posted by clew at 5:09 PM on May 17, 2020 [3 favorites]

Iris and clew - I’m back on my phone now so can’t link, but a reverse google image search for the OP’s picture also turned up results from other Italian towns and one from Paris, so it may be not only on one door. But despite googling with the Italian for door knocker (“battiporta”) I didn’t find a maker or origin anywhere.
posted by penguin pie at 5:26 PM on May 17, 2020 [2 favorites]

Could more than one government building in Rome be tricked out with Medusa door knockers?!?

Looking for Victorian Medusa's Head Door Knocker Reproduction netted:
Original Medusa Door Knocker, Antique Cast Iron Door Furniture, Crescent Moon, Gorgon Goddess, Victorian Knocker, Period Door Furniture

Antique Vintage Brass Victorian Door Knocker

To commission one but not pay thousands, maybe someone (like an Etsy craftsperson) could start with a ready-made sculpture and create a door knocker from it? (These widely available gorgon's head 'masks' , familiar from the Versace logo).
posted by Iris Gambol at 5:30 PM on May 17, 2020 [2 favorites]

More allegedly Medusa's head reproductions: Ball & Ball, Authentic Provence, Vintage Hardware
posted by Iris Gambol at 5:49 PM on May 17, 2020

Tethys, a titan, has wings on her brow and is often depicted with sea serpents, which may factor into selecting the classic image, if Medusa is the preferred artwork.
posted by childofTethys at 3:31 AM on May 18, 2020 [1 favorite]

There were some really good hits here, and some stellar finds on ebay.

Also the replica horseshoe is amazing,and yes I will totally eventually spend good money on art for my door.

Thank you for the various leads!
posted by larthegreat at 9:36 AM on June 16, 2020

« Older How do I bake half a recipe of bread?   |   Negotiating leave of absence for COVID-adjacent... Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments