Would You Pay $20,000 for a Door Knocker? Because Someone Just Did

paul evans door knocker
Rare Door Knocker Sells for $20,000Courtesy Rago Auctions


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Opportunity knocks for patient collectors, but rarely does it get as literal as this.

Today, a rare bronze door knocker designed by American furniture designer and sculptor Paul Evans sold for a whopping $20,160 at New Jersey’s Rago Auctions. The sculptural door knocker, manufactured around 1965, features a powerful, noded silhouette and is one of just 20 ever made.

Rago’s Modern Design sale included five more Evans-designed door knockers, including a hook-shaped aluminum and steel model, which, at a price of $7,560 including the buyer’s premium, nearly quadrupled its low estimate, as well as a formidable, starburst-shaped example, which more than tripled its conservative valuation.

The door knockers—plus 14 other Evans-designed lots including a welded steel Christmas tree and a verdigris “Loop” cabinet—came from the personal collection of Dorsey Reading, a master metalworker who spent 23 years working in the designer’s studio.

Despite their polarizing, Brutalist aesthetic, Evans’s work has fetched eye-watering prices at auction in recent years. Last spring, one of his “sculptural front” cabinets (a design fabricated by Reading) sold for a dizzying $403,200 at Sotheby’s. The designer also has a devoted following, which includes designers like Kelly Wearstler and Peter Marino, and celebrities such as Gwen Stefani and Lenny Kravitz. “His work is stunningly beautiful, stunningly ugly, stunningly tacky, stunningly sophisticated—it’s all of it,” Kravitz said in an Evans documentary. “And that is what makes a great artist.”

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