I guess to some, the door hinges may not be considered a necessary feature of the doors but I do think a lovely pair or triple of stripped cast iron hinges really sets off the job.
Due to the material i.e cast iron, original hinges are always thicker than the steel varieties of today and I think their feel, colour and overall look is quite quaint, but then I'm sad ha ha!
Two of the main manufacturer and suppliers of 19th century cast hinges were Baldwin and Cross. Both manufacturers occur quite regular and can be easily recognised as the name is nearly always stamped into the cast. Due to the thickness of the original hinge they will take a bit more time to fit correctly but worth the little more effort for the final look.
When Regency Antique Trading Ltd supply cast hinges we not only strip them of all the old paint build up but we also soak them over night in wd40 just to make sure they work nice and smoothly.
Periodically we come across brass variations of the hinges, again these are much thicker than the modern day equivalent and tend to be quite rare as they were in the main only used on the landowner houses rather than the regular homes as even back then these would be expensive compared with the cast.
It's a personal outlook but I just think the finishing touch of a victorian door with a lovely grey pair of cast hinges is so nice.
Obviously, hinges go back way further than the 19th century. Some of the earliest metal hinges being hand forged such as the Suffolk hinge, produced by the local Blacksmith for prestigious buildings i.e churches and meeting houses. Earlier than this and possibly the first type of hinge on record was the pivot hinge, right the way back to two stone blocks moving around a metal pivot. Not really relevant in the domestic home though.
Back to the cast hinge for a beautiful 19th/early 20th century panelled door, a lovely finishing authentic touch that just makes the job right. The strap hinge or forged hinge is more suited to the ledged and brace or framed ledged and brace door.