Functional and faux dummy shutter hardware including shutter dog tiebacks, hinges, slide bolts, and other hardware to make shutters jump to life.
Shutters are common to homes from almost every architectural period. In colonial homes, shutters provided security as well as a weather barrier. As cities developed, shutters were used to provide privacy in densely populated areas. Shutters can provide all of those same benefits but today are most often used decoratively to provide architectural accent or color contrast. Although their purpose may have changed some, shutters remain as popular today as ever.
Shutter hardware has also changed over time. Shutter hardware changes, however, tended to be in construction rather than in purpose. Antique shutter hardware from the Colonial period was usually hand forged by a blacksmith. The Industrial Revolution made casting iron economical and by the Victorian era, vintage cast iron shutter hardware was most popular. The Arts & Crafts movement brought about a return to handcrafted hardware including copper and bronze handcrafted shutter hardware. All of these construction methods are available to homeowners today, especially for antique reproduction shutter hardware.
There are two basic types of shutter hardware; hardware that facilitates shutter movement and hardware that prevents shutter movement. Functional shutters move on hinges to open and close. Strap hinges have been used since the Colonial period but other surface and mortise style shutter hinges, including the popular New York style "L" hinges, began growing in popularity by the Victorian period. To prevent shutters from moving when it is not desired, shutter dogs (also called tiebacks) are used to keep shutters open and slide bolts are used to lock shutters closed. In addition to the two basic types of shutter hardware for functional shutters, is faux shutter hardware for nonfunctional shutters. Even if a shutter is only decorative, it should appear to be functional. Antique reproduction dummy shutter hinges, faux shutter dogs, and slide bolts can be used with stationary decorative wood and vinyl shutters to make them look functional while also providing period detail.
Shutter dogs, or shutter tiebacks, hold shutters in the open position. A shutter dog rotates to allow shutters to pass by when opening or closing the shutter. Hand forged shutter dogs of the Colonial period were usually of the English influenced "rattail" variety. The "S" scroll shutter dogs that are most popular today were difficult to forge but technological advancements in casting during the Victorian period popularized cast iron "S" scroll shutter dogs. Faux shutter dogs lend a realistic traditional look to inoperable decorative shutters.
Shutter hinges allow shutters to open and close. Shutter hinges can be mortised or surface mounted (such as New York style hinges). Awning shutters, or Bermuda hinges, are hinged at the top to block the sun but allow breezes to pass in tropical climates. Even if they don't move, faux shutter hinges can make decorative vinyl shutters look as if they do. Whether it is for new construction or antique shutter restoration, choose hinges that are compatible with the style of shutter and its mounting location.
Shutter slide bolts secure shutters in the closed position. Shutter slide bolts, or shutter locks, are normally paired with shutter ring pulls. Ring pulls provide a handle for pulling shutters closed so they can be locked with the slide bolt. Even if shutters don't close, shutter slide bolts and shutter ring pulls are prominent visual elements on functional shutters that can add an economical touch of realism to decorative non-functional shutters.
Strap hinges mount to the structure while the strap is installed on the shutter's surface. As well as provide functionality, the strap hinge's long strap helps to reinforce shutters. Many shutter strap hinges have two parts that lift apart to allow shutter maintenance. The pintel (or hinge pin) mounts to the structure while the strap is installed on the shutter.
Dummy strap hinges are decorative straps that are installed on doors and gates to make them appear as if they are hung with strap hinges. Dummy strap hinges, or faux strap hinges, add a measure of vintage authenticity to doors. They aren't normally used with permanently open decorative shutters because the straps aren't visible on functional shutters when they are open. Although it may not be technically correct to use dummy straps hinges on faux shutters, some people do prefer to use them for their decorative characteristics.