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TREASURE HUNTING

AROUND HOME : Notes on Southwest Dishes, Wood Turning and Cesca Chairs : Finishing Touches

July 10, 1988|LOIS GIBSON

THE BEAUTY OF an antique front door is enhanced by its graceful handle, ornamental escutcheon, rococo hinges, brass letter drop and rose-petal doorbell. Yet good period architectural hardware is hard to find. Still, a few local firms do supply it.

SECO makes hand-cast, hand-finished brass door handles, knobs, pulls, push plates, kick plates, escutcheons, escutcheon plates, hinge straps, latch sets, security locks, knockers, mail slots, bells, grilles, key blanks, hardware for windows, casements and shutters.

SECO is a division of Plexacraft, manufacturer of contemporary and Art Deco Lucite hardware. Its foundry also does custom art-casting, while another subsidiary supplies white porcelain doorknobs and accessories.

Plexacraft metals come in all finishes, including French white. There are decorative stair-riser bars with brass, porcelain and Lucite finials, and baroque escutcheons shaped like lizards, peacocks and fleurs-de-lis. The company customizes tile insets, sells Oriental patterns and imports glass doorknobs. Plexacraft products are displayedat its Glendale showroom.

A full line of brass and wrought-iron period hardware, including ornate hinge-pins and fancy fittings for trapdoors, fanlights and skylights, is imported by Transylvania Mountain Forge. The Antique Hardware Co. crafts Victorian knobs, teardrop pulls, hinges, latches and escutcheons for cabinetry. Also check out big, old-fashioned neighborhood hardware stores for solid brass period architectural hardware plus cut-glass and porcelain doorknobs.

Antique-style architectural hardware is sold by Transylvania Mountain Forge in La Canada Flintridge and the Antique Hardware Co. in Torrance. SECO and other Plexacraft Products are available through Design Hardware in Los Angeles, Deco Brass in Tarzana, Virgil's Hardware in Glendale, Details in Hollywood , West End West in Laguna Beach and Howard Palmer in San Diego.

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