I wasn't looking to buy any hinges but I was surfing the internet for old house parts and I when I saw these, I immediately fell in love. Not only are they really cool but they have a connection to Edith Wharton, author of novels such as The Age of Innocence and Ethan Frome.
Actually, they're from Pine Acre which was Edith Wharton's husband's family's home in the Berkshires, a place she visited often. The mansion was recently converted to condominiums and many of the home's original parts were salvaged. I was lucky enough to buy 50 hinges which should be more than enough for me.
I love them just the way the are but if I end up buying new doors for throughout the house, I'm not sure I'll want this "chippy" look on new doors. I did some research on internet on how to strip paint off old hinges and found a lot of people who swear by boiling them in water with some kind of soap. Not wanting to sacrifice my Le Creuset to the stripping project, I talked to the salvage company I purchased them from and they suggested just soaking them in water...maybe for a few days before it would soften.
So I took one hinge and soaked in water (in an old coffee can) and some Simple Green and, indeed, after a few days the paint looked "swollen." I used the tip of an old paring knife and in about a half hour, I had removed all of the old white paint. It revealed a lot of the fine detail but it also took off a lot of the original black paint. I'm sure with a little more buffing, they'll be ready for a new coat of enamel.

A little hinge may seem like such a minor detail but I think it's these little things that make an old house sing, or at least ring true. I'm not sure when I'll get to use them, but I'll be happy to have them in my old house.
There were also a few doorknobs that caught attention. I think these white porcelain knobs are great...
...but I'm really in love with these Bennington door knobs. I think I might get a few of these to install and try them on for size.

I'm thinking mahogany doors, with my glossy black Edith Wharton hinges maybe these Bennington knobs throughout the house. It would certainly be handsome!
 
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