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Learn About Cottage Bun Door Knobs

If you’d like to learn a little more about some of our favourite products you are in the right place! We have been selling the Cottage Bun Door Knobs for 12 years and we are proud to say they grace the doors of homes all over the World. Their quality is second to none and a product we really believe in.

History & Usage

Our Cottage Bun door Knobs are authentic replicas of a set discovered in Ivy Cottage in Broom Yard, Worcestershire. They are a little smaller than standard door handles, however they were still used on regular sized doors in Victorian houses. Infact, the house I lived in here in Falmouth for many years had original cottage bun door knobs on all the upstairs rooms. The Victorian property had large 4 panel pine doors and the handles were actually the size of our smaller version. This is surprising to customers as these days we do expect handles to be rather larger.

This type of handle was used predominately on bedroom doors and in the servants quarters where the land owner wished to make less of an impression and save money. However they work beautifully within cottage refurbishments on smaller doors and once they have warn in are virtually indistinguishable from the antique originals! 

Ours are available in two sizes and two finishes.

Unlacquered brass which will aged beautifully gaining a darker patina over time but that can be polished back to a shiny finish at any point if you wish (use brass polish and elbow grease). Polished nickel plate which ages much more slowly and has a wonderful warm silver appearance.

Small – Projection 38mm and Diameter 40mm. Large – Projection 48mm Diameter 52mm

They come as a pair and have removable backplates and can therefore be used on a mortise lock or latch, keeping the two backplates, or on a rim lock were one of the backplates can be removed.

Some rim locks, depending on their age may have a smaller spindle hole than usual which is an imperial size. These handles come with a special removable collar around the spindle that can adapt the diameter enabling their use with some of these older rim locks if required. (Many modern handles come with a standard metric 8mm diameter spindle whereas these handles come with a 7mm spindle with the removable collar adapting them to a 7.5 or 8mm if needed.)

How do you choose which size and finish?

That’s a personal preference! The brass is authentic and true to its history. Brass has also made a huge come back in interior fashion over the last couple of years as you will see if you spend time sourcing inspiration from Pinterest and Instagram! As such brass is seeing a resurgence. Personally I love the patina it develops when left a little while. A gentle polish every few months is all thats needed.

The nickel is a fantastic combination of old and new. A traditional style with a more contemporary finish, customers often find the silver colouring more versatile, particularly so when using in bathrooms that may already have nickel or chrome fittings such as taps.

The small really are very small so have a look at dimensions. We do sell more of the large but it may be that you think of using large downstairs and small upstairs at the Victorians would have considered doing.

Fitting & Trouble shooting

The Classic Period design of the Cottage Bun Door Knobs utilises a grub screw located in the neck of the door handle that screws tight to the spindle. You must ensure the grub screw locates in the groove that runs along each flat side for a secure fixing. You will need a sprung mortise or rim latch to ensure the handles return to their original position once turned.


The Classic Period design utilises a grub screw located in the neck of the door handle that screws tight to the spindle. You must ensure the grub screw locates in the groove that runs along each flat side for a secure fixing. You will need a sprung mortise or rim latch to ensure the handles return to their original position once turned.


If your handle just turns but does not turn the latch it maybe that the grub screw is not correctly located in the groove causing the handle to spin rather than be fixed to the spindle. When the handles are fitted ensure it is correctly located to avoid it working loose and damaging the spindle. It maybe that you will have to tighten the grub screw from time to time to ensure it is fully secured.


If your handles are hard to turn, it could be that they are not level with each other. This can be caused by the back plate being fixed slightly off centre causing the handle to snag. If they are level then you may have over tightened the handle causing it to pinch the door. We recommend to loosen the grub screw and turn the handle ¼ turn to release the handle slightly. Tighten the grub screw back up ensuring it is located in the groove and test the handles. This process will normally solve the issue.


The spindles come as a standard length, if it is too long once the door knobs are tightened up to the door you may have to cut it down slightly. This can be done using a junior hacksaw and vice. You may need to file the end of the spindle slightly to take off any metal burrs that will stop the handles attaching back onto the spindle.


The brass is unlacquered and so will dull down over time to create a natural aged patina. If you want your handles to remain polished, a little Brasso and elbow grease will return them to their mirror shine finish.


You need to consider the position of your door handles to ensure your knuckles do not hit the door frame when turning the door knob. This is called the back set measurement and is taken from the edge of the door to the centre where the door knob will sit/spindle goes through the door. If you have latches already fitted you need to check that the size of the door knob leaves enough room for you to turn the handle. As the cottage bun are slightly smaller than standard door knobs, this should not be a problem.

Shop here:

Large Brass Cottage Bun Door knobs, Small Brass, Large Nickel, Small Nickel.

We would love to see your Cottage Bun door knobs in situ so please send pictures for our gallery!

Written by Felicity & Sarah.

Posted in Articles and Features, Customer Projects, How to Guides, More from Willow & Stone, Our Products & Ranges, Uncategorised, W&S Window Displays

Posted by Sarah 8th March 2018

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