Tuesday, January 3

A moment with a doorknob...

When I walked into the living room, which I prefer to call the salon, I turned to put down my wine glass--on the marble-top table, yes, where the lamp's bear base (below) stood serious guard--and the doorknob caught my eye. It caught my eye because it was though it had moved, which it didn't, but I was moving, catching the knob in the light at different angles, and I realized it wasn't opaque but was translucent crystal the color of ox blood (or Pinot Noir, depending on the references). I knew this door knob! Oh...

Years ago, I was an editor at Western Interiors & Design, a wonderful, now defunct, contemporary design magazine (with an unfortunate name; the investors were already in). I produced a product column, calling in samples of new flooring, tiles, door hardware, what have you, and styling the shoot. I requested this specific doorknob from E. R. Butler & Co. in this specific shade. The knobs were so stunning, with their subtly shifting color, it turned out to be one of my favorite columns ever. How I hated returning this knob, folding it into tissue and sending it off in drab cardboard. I haven't forgotten its surprising heft, like holding the world in your hand.

I've examined the facets and the shank and the beveled escutcheon plate and everything, so I'm pretty sure it's a Butler, and resident Adele Griffin said her architects at Meyer Davis Studio were very excited about using them, too. Besides, Butler's patent on the attachment of a denticulated crystal knob to a keystoned brass socket dates to the 1830s, so put that in your pipe and smoke it.

I wandered around. A casual gorgeous weapon adorns a bookshelf; dimmer sconces; this awesome drawing by singer-songwriter-musician-artist Daniel Johnston of Hi, How Are You; leaves; pup Edith in downward dog; another one of those lovely chairs with crossed legs, ladylike.


  1. Gorgeous! What a cute dog and coy loveseat.

  2. love daniel johnston's visual art--his songwriting too.

  3. Thanks, Val! I'm so glad you spotted his work. Such an interesting guy.