by Dr. Lori Verderame
Practical and strong, door stops were once found in high style British homes dating back to the early 18th Century. Early versions of the door stop were made of brass, not iron, and used to prop open heavy wooden doors. Some door stops had handles making it easy for people to move a door stop from door to door as needed. By the late 1800s, cast iron door stops were in favor.
Some of the most popular cast door stops on the vintage and antiques market were made in the early 1900s. They were initially sold at that time for a few dollars each but today collectors pay hundreds and even thousands of dollars for some of the most sought after forms of cast iron door stops. Some door stops were used in kitchens to prop open the back door making them desirable kitchen collectibles too. Some figural door stops have commanded big bucks and good value from collectors on the vintage and antiques market ranging from a few hundred to several thousands of dollars for brand name door stop in cast iron.
Various companies produced valuable cast iron door stops through the years including but not limited to Hubley, Albany Foundry, Bradley & Hubbard, Greenblatt studios, John Wright, and National Foundry to name a few.
What to Look For
Look for unique or unusual cast iron door stops in various forms as they hold their value well. Some of the most valuable cast iron door stops feature figures of famous people like Benjamin Franklin (see above photo), Uncle Sam, or George and Martha Washington. Always look for cast iron door stops that have retained a good amount of their original pigment. If a door stop has been significantly repainted or repaired, the value is diminished.
Don’t be enticed by a cast iron object that looks like a door stop or could be used by a door stop when it isn’t a door stop. I can help you correctly identify the difference too at my antiques appraisal events. For instance, if a cast iron object can function as something else then it is not a true door stop. Like a cast iron string holder in the form of a cat which can serve as a door stop is not a door stop. Door stops are not meant to do double duty, they are door stops only and were made as door stops only. Door stops have only one function… to prop open doors. If something is marketed as a door stop and something else too then you don’t have a true cast iron door stop. Don’t get fooled or taken when shopping.
Get an online appraisal report of your cast iron door stop from Dr. Lori.