Who is the Mystery Man on
Vintage Doorknob?

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Q: We live in a gorgeous old house originally built in the early to mid 1850s and renovated at the turn of the century, and at least twice more — probably in the '50s and early '80s.

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Every interior door in the entire building has these doorknobs. One auction site claimed they were Mark Twain, but that makes no sense — wrong time period, and we're in Baltimore. I have asked at antique shops, on doorknob sites, pretty much everywhere, and I've Googled every famous name associated with everything I can think of between 1850 and 1900 Baltimore. No luck — I can't find anyone who even remotely resembles these knobs. What we know:

* Baltimore location
* Built 1850-55, renovated around 1900, and twice again later
* Most architectural details have been preserved - molding, doors, fireplaces, trim, etc. Even the floors are from at least 1900, possibly earlier.
* Building was originally single-family but was turned into multiple units (one per floor) in 1900 renovation.
* All interior doors have these knobs, and they are consistent with turn of the century style, not consistent with 1850 style knobs.

We'd love to know who this is! Any clues? Thanks!

Sent by RKMW

Editor: A Google search turned up this listing for a doorknob with a very similar bust, also identified as Mark Twain. Readers — what do you think? Leave your suggestions for RKMW in the comments — thanks!

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(Image: provided by RKMW)

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Regina is an architect who lives with her husband and children in Lawrence, KS. As a LEED Accredited Professional and longtime contributor to Apartment Therapy and The Kitchn, her focus is on healthy, sustainable living through design.

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