Did you hear there's a flu epidemic? The Boston mayor has declared a public health emergency and the subway loudspeakers announce a computer-generated, almost post-apocalyptic message with a reminder we must wash our hands with soap and water.   Small talk has changed from the weather to questions about flu shots.  Because of an egg allergy, I'm unable to have a flu shot and so far I've been lucky in avoiding getting it.  The latter statement is always followed by my superstitious grandmother's favorite saying--knock wood--which I've been saying a lot lately.

Louisberg Square, Beacon Hill

"Knock wood" got me thinking about the fact I've never gotten a knocker for my front door.
I chose not to add a doorbell to keep the front entrance looking historically accurate but I also love the individual statement a unique door knocker can make.

It was an unusually warm day yesterday so I thought it would be a perfect day to get a little
fresh, healthy air and check out the doors and knockers in this tony Boston neighborhood.  

There were quite a few red and black front doors.

Placed side by side, these characters could be playing card stand-ins for jacks, queens and kings.

I had forgotten that many New Englanders keep their wreaths up through January so it was harder than you might imagine to find door knockers that weren't covered up by wreaths.

I love the egg shaped brass  and acorn decoration on this robin's egg blue door.

Most of the brass was left to develop a patina.  I think I prefer a little polish.

Carriage house door.

Some knockers and numbers were crusty and painted.

They all look very medieval to me.

Going au natural.

The natural finish doors were lovely.  There's something very yacht-like about them.

Castle-like doors on Beacon Street.

The most ornate knocker I found.

How awesome is this oversized gas lantern over the door?

I love it.

I think my favorite combination is brass on black.

Green and brass is also a popular combination.

There were a lot of lion heads symbolizing strength and courage.  

These seem very British to me.  Maybe because No. 10 Downing Street has a lion's head on the front door.  Given our colonial connection to Britain, these make a lot of sense.

This place had two lions!

But I was surprised to find only one dolphin fish.

For an interesting post on the dolphin fish, see this post on Streets of Salem.

Acorn Street is one of Beacon Hill's most charming streets.

Acorn Street residence with a simple brass ring knocker.

Pinckney Street residence with Federal style knocker.

A federal style knocker is a timeless choice.

The physician's knocker is also very classic choice although many 
were crooked and that would drive me crazy.

These two heads were quite unusual.  They seem better suited a Victorian home than to a Federal style rowhouse but I do like them, especially the Egyptian Revival one on the right.

Joy Place, Beacon Hill

While I wouldn't recommend having a front door two feet off the sidewalk, it's great to be unique.  My favorite door knockers are the ones I saw only once or twice as I walked around.  Those places left an impression.  While it's great to pick something that sets your front door apart from others in the neighborhood, I think it's equally important to consider time and place.   Eagles, lions and Federal shields are appropriate for old houses. Whales, anchors and shells are perfect for locations close to the sea.

My personal favorites are ones that not only take time and place into consideration but pair a door knocker with a house number that provide one focal point at the front door.

Do have any favorites?

Knock wood, I hope you will all stay well.