Appropriate traditional hardware can dress up any window.
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Nanz model #9495 sash lock in fixed brass dates to the early-20th century. Photo: courtesy of The Nanz Company
While window hardware typically represents a small portion of most architectural hardware suppliers' product lines, many companies offer window hardware in numerous classic styles as well as hard-to-find traditional replications and distinctive custom designs. Three U.S.-based companies – The Nanz Company, Rejuvenation and Hamilton Sinkler – offer a wide range of window hardware, from casement stays and sash lifts to turn buttons and pivots.
Nanz, an international architectural hardware company based in New York City, was founded 20 years ago by Carl Sorenson and Steve Nanz. "The owners first began working on Park Avenue restoration projects," says Alyson Dicks, sales director. "Today Nanz is involved with both residential and commercial projects around the world, providing custom bath, door, window and cabinet hardware in brass."
Hardware manufactured by Nanz includes casement fasteners and stays, and sash lifts and locks. The surface-mounted casement fastener, model #9438, is based on an early-20th-century design. It is used to secure both in-swing and out-swing casement windows. Photo: courtesy of The Nanz Company
Window hardware accounts for about 25 percent of Nanz's residential projects. Hardware is available for any type of window – double- and triple-hung, casement, sash, transom and European-style tilt-&-turn windows. "The company also manufactures hardware for special applications, including low-profile hardware, pivot hinges for awning-type windows and casement stays for both in-swing and out-swing windows," says Dicks. "Hardware for screens, storm windows and shutters is also available."
The best-selling items from Nanz are the offset and center pivots. "We are also seeing more interest in the interior mechanisms, such as those for tilt-&-turn windows especially," says Dicks.
Nanz works exclusively in brass and provides a range of plated and patinated finishes. "All of our products are hand-finished using 400-year-old techniques," says Dicks. "We are able to accommodate almost any finish." Some of the most popular finishes are polished nickel, satin nickel, dark oxidized bronze, pewter and antique brass.
The company can also supply almost any style of window hardware, as it has an in-house design department. Nanz works closely with its clientele, the majority of which are involved in the architectural trade, to create hardware stylistically suitable for each residence. "We are constantly adding new products to our line," says Dicks. These can be viewed at one of their showrooms in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Greenwich, CT, and London, and at www.nanz.com.
This casement fastener with rim strike, model #EB 7052 from Rejuvenation, is available in six standard finishes, including brushed nickel. Photo: courtesy of Rejuvenation
Established in 1977 as an architectural salvage company, Rejuvenation has since expanded to include reproduction lighting, vintage lighting and hardware. Lighting is the core of the business, with window hardware accounting for a fairly small percentage, but the line has established itself among homeowners and tradespeople as period-authentic.
Casement adjusters and fasteners, sash hardware – such as locks, lifts, cords, pulleys and turn buttons – and drapery rod sets are the core of the stock window hardware line. All the hardware designs are reproductions of originals drawn from an archive of about 2,000 catalogs, which date back to the 1800s. Rejuvenation also reverse-engineers original antique pieces.
The most popular window hardware, and the majority of Rejuvenation's product line, reflects the most commonly used window hardware between 1900 and 1940. "This is a style we refer to as Period Basics," says Bo Sullivan, Rejuvenation historian. "We also offer a handful of more decorative options from the late-19th-century Victorian era."
Rejuvenation supplies bar, hook and flush sash lifts. A burnished-antique finish was applied to the 4-in. bar sash lift, model #EB 1957. Photo: courtesy of Rejuvenation
One-of-a-kind restored antique window hardware can be acquired through the salvage department. "The salvage hardware is really fun to dig through," says Nicole Curcio, public relations manager. "We have some wonderful finds, though there may not be enough original pieces to accommodate an entire house, or they may not be the exact match to existing hardware."
Among the salvage window hardware currently available is a set of seven ca. 1900 cast Yale & Towne "Largo" sash lifts; a ca. 1910 cast casement window crank adjuster; ca. 1870 "gigantic" sash locks; and a set of ca. 1870 primitive shutter dogs. Since the antique items are often one-of-a-kind, the inventory is always changing, so it is best to check Rejuvenation's website frequently.
The majority of Rejuvenation's line is solid brass to stay true to original designs. A small percentage, including the Eastlake sash lock, is made in cast iron. Exclusive hardware is available in six standard finishes – burnished antique, brushed nickel, lacquered brass, oil-rubbed bronze, polished nickel and unlacquered brass. The finish choices make it easy to match existing hardware. "The standard finishes match those of Rejuvenation's other hardware and lighting collections, so the house can be unified in its design," says Curcio.
Rejuvenation has retail stores in Portland, OR, and Seattle, WA, but all of the window hardware can be found with online at www.rejuvenation.com.
Hamilton Sinkler's lever catch model #SL-110, its most popular window hardware piece, is 2 in. wide with a 4¼-in. maneuverable arm. Photo: courtesy of Hamilton Sinkler
For those searching for a more rustic, European style, Hamilton Sinkler has a selection of window hardware in a bronze patina finish. Primarily a door hardware and plumbing manufacturer, Hamilton Sinkler also creates vents, registers, bathroom accessories, shelf brackets and electrical hardware. Window hardware makes up about 10 percent of its business.
The solid-bronze hardware is manufactured in India in a traditional sand-casting process. The hardware is then finished in rustic bronze, bronze patina or brass brushed nickel. "The bronze patina finish is our trademark," says Marianthi Theodossiou, sales and marketing executive. "It is designed to weather naturally and change over time, a so-called 'living finish.' We want the hardware to take on a rustic, textured look."
Hamilton Sinkler has an ever-evolving collection of lever catches, as well as sash lifts and locks. The company offers traditional designs as well as items that have been slightly elaborated upon to differentiate them from other hardware on the market. One such piece is the sash lock model #SL-105 – a reproduction that dates to ca. 1900 – to which designers added a swirl pattern at the top.
Custom design and manufacturing is offered for those who want to replicate existing hardware or hardware designs from a pattern catalog. "We are pleased to be able to create custom designs for homeowners and architects," says Theodossiou. "One recent project was for an estate in Bernardsville, NJ, where we restored the original mid-20th-century hardware throughout the home, from the window hardware to the door hardware. For pieces that were too dilapidated, we created replicas."
Whether one is in the market for stock or custom, or replicated or restored window hardware, Hamilton Sinkler can manufacture it. The company retails at independently owned high-end showrooms across the U.S., and its product line can also be viewed at www.hamiltonsinkler.com.
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Hadiya Strasberg is an M.Arch. candidate at Massachusetts College of Art & Design and a contributor to Clem Labine's Period Homes and Clem Labine's Traditional Building.