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What Are Victorian Door Handles Made From?

What Are Victorian Door Handles Made From?

Brass is by far the most common material for Victorian door handles and knobs. Advances in brass casting around the 1840s made it a lot cheaper to cast door handles. Up until then handles and knobs were generally made in two pieces and connected together. Brass is an alloy, a mix of copper and zinc.

Are some Victorian door handles not brass?

Unless they are obviously iron or wood, then 99% of knobs and handles from the Victorian period will be brass, occasionally bronze (see below).

Do you get Victorian bronze door handles?

Yes, we do come across them, they're not nearly as common as brass. Bronze is a mix of copper & tin (instead of copper & zinc for brass). Most door handles we see described as bronze are generally just different shades of brass (see below).

Are there different colours of brass?

Yes, Victorians had a few different shades of brass, generally the higher the copper content the Redder the shade of brass, less copper, the more Yellow. Turn of the 1900s and into the Edwardian period, Rose brass was very popular (approx. 90% copper, 10% zinc).

Are modern door handles brass?

Not necessarily, the cheaper end of the market will be a plated alloy or steel. Unless it's stated, might be worth double checking. 

Are my door handles brass?

Get a magnet and give them a test, otherwise remove one and scratch the back with something sharp. If they're plated, you'll see the base metal underneath.

Can Victorian Door Handles be Polished?

Yes, the vast majority of Victorian door handles can be polished back to a shiny finish (assuming they're brass). Even if they're Green, they can come back to something shiny again. Check our Instagram feed below, we're generally polishing some Victorian brass. We also offer a polishing service for your own door handles


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