Door wedges arrived in the late eighteenth century following the introduction of the rising butt

As my girls announced they had eaten ‘delicious fish fingers and wedgies,’ for lunch I was struck by how extraordinary it was that the issue of ‘pant in bum syndrome’ had not been addressed earlier in our household.

Keen not to miss this opportunity I grabbed the nearest pair of pants and gave them a firm upward tug. “That’s a wedgie,” I explained to my slightly shellshocked six-year-old. “What you had for lunch was more likely a wedge of carbohydrate.”

Needless to say wedgies, the giving and receiving of, is now an active sport in our house.

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It also brought to mind the unsung hero of the interior world, the door wedge, door stop or door porter. (Hang on to your hat’s folks- next week could be draught excluders)
These little beauties wedge doors open, stop doors slamming on fingers and can be used to club unwelcome visitors on the head.
Door wedges arrived in the late eighteenth century following the introduction of the rising butt, a type of hinge designed to close a door automatically.

The Victorians and Edwardians had great fun with these everyday items, turning them into humorous, decorative, as well as useful items. They depicted famous figures, animals and quite often baskets of flowers.

The most common material used for making doorstops was metal, brass and then more commonly cast-iron.
This Victorian cast iron fruit basket doorstop sold for a cool $4000,00.

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Having spent quite a few months finessing the interior of our home, and in particular the layout of the hall, the opener of the interior narrative, it really annoyed me that I still had an ugly old chunk of scrap wood lying in the hall. The builders had been using this to prop the door open and I just hadn’t got around to changing it.

I found the answer to the wedgiest of my dreams in Anthropologie. This little bird now welcomes guests into our home and does a sterling job holding the door open.
Gold-Beaked Doorstop, £24.00, www.anthropologie.eu

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Another door wedge/stopper originates from the beautiful Knockinelder beach in Northern Ireland. It sort of looks a bit like a dinosaur toe bone. That’s what I’ve told my boy and he is very impressed. http://www.discovernorthernisland.com.

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I think I am rapidly developing a bit of a thing for doorstops. There are some absolutely beautiful antique wedges, that you can find at auction houses, ebay and etsy.

Strictly for the purposes of research this one is on it’s way to me now. Edwardian Cast Iron Door Stop. £ Very, very reasonably priced.

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Others I like that are available now are:

Pleasingly tactile and copper is having a moment: John Lewis Fusion Copper Doorstop, £20, www.johnlewis.com

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Very Regal and impressive, Door Porter Prince of Wales, £23.99, www.blackcountrymetalworks.co.uk

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The Wizard of Oz Red Ruby Slippers Doorstop – Wicked Witch of the East, £28.49, www.amazon.co.uk

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The Rolls Royce of designer wedge. Cast Shoe Door stop – Tom Dixon, £95, www.madeindesign.com

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1 Comment

Filed under Interior design

One response to “Door wedges arrived in the late eighteenth century following the introduction of the rising butt

  1. loulou the loulou

    The wicked witch shoes are too, too funny.

    Liked by 1 person

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