Tuesday, March 2, 2010
Some Maltese Door Knockers
Yesterday at one of my training courses (which by the way had nothing to do with door knockers) I learnt that in the past people did not knock on doors but they used to scratch at them. I had never heard of such a thing!! I wonder how they heard anyone scratching if they were upstairs!
Anyway I thought of sharing some information about some of our old and beautiful door knockers. In Maltese they are known as il-“Habbata”. Long after the method of scratching was scrapped the 'Habbata' entered in the picture many years ago as a matter of necessity. Somehow it has survived the mechanical and electric doorbell and has become part of our street embellishment. These door knockers used to reflect the personality and taste of the house owner. They were available in numerous motifs, shapes and sizes.
Some of our old buildings throughout the Maltese Islands can boast of some exceptionally fine examples which can ultimately be described as truly works of art. Perhaps the most traditional motif in the Islands is that in the shape of a dolphin. These are still manufactured in significant quantities and much in demand albeit very costly.
The above photos with the exception of the ninth one ( taken at Valletta) were taken during one of my walks at Zabbar and Birgu.