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Thinking About Terminology

So many times a persons terminology can be confusing. We can get really excited when a customer contacts us asking for Georgian doors only to be deflated when we find out they actually are looking for 1930's doors, aahhh! Just because your house was built during the reign of George VI doesn't make it Georgian it makes it, well, 1930's.

Not that I'm discrediting the quality of 1930's doors , many are very good quality timber particularly the Douglas Fir variants.

Georgian refers to the reign of the first four British king Georges 1714 - 1837 with the latter part breaking into the Regency period.

Georgian period was a time in history when house doors were leaving the form of braced planks and becoming panelled and jointed formats.

Typical Georgian doors will be in a six panel design, having two small panels at the top and four equal proportion panels underneath. The edge of the panels have a small shaped beading around them as opposed to the later, larger victorian beading.

The top two panels are usually placed in horizontally whilst the four lower panels are vertical.

With 30 years experience most of this period of door tend to be considerably lower and wider than our modern day variants. There appears to be considerable truth in the reasoning that the population were shorter and wider than the fitter and healthier species of today, (mmmmm! may be).

The front doors whilst being of six panel design , the panel thickness was increased by using raised and fielded technique, i.e a thick centre chamfering back to the stiles and rails. Or by using a pencil reed cut around the edge of the panel to meet the rebates. The latter tended to feature on the rural and suburb houses where as the raised and fielded on the city and moor grandeur properties.

One of my prized possessions is a full set of Georgian mortise chisels in lovely condition with their wear and patinated handles. Bit soppy I know but just to hold them is to connect with history, it's just nice.

I think a point needs to be mentioned here, that these doors are very rare, not just because of their age but there were far less properties around and of the ones that were few owners could afford a full set of panelled doors. Kind of shows us a little of our social growth today.

I think in my next little chat I might look at what holds the doors on the frame... the beautiful cast hinges.

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