elevating hardware to an art form

Having spent a morning at E.R. Butler & Co. selecting doorknobs, I feel inadequate calling it a “hardware” store.  Located in NoLita in Manhattan, this “emporium” is more akin to a jewelry studio than a hardware store not only for its exquisitely eclectic offerings but because it actually occupies the late 19th century original Tiffany & Co. silver workshops in New York.

The place is A-MAZ-ING.  There is drawer after drawer of doorknobs, levers, hinges and other unimaginable hardware of all colors, shapes, sizes, materials and styles.  Butler, who owns some of the oldest hardware patents in the US and represents some of the non plus ultra hardware purveyors of Europe, can also design and fabricate hardware to fastiduous specification – just ask Peter Marino, Ted Muehling, Jasper Morrison and Philipe Starck amongst a few of the people he’s worked with.  His love and historical understanding of old-world hardware and 21st-century technology allows him to move with ease between the centuries and produce unequaled products of the highest quality.
I’ve always said that the devil is in the details.  It’s perfectly acceptable to have run-of-the-mill hardware on any door … and nobody will notice.  Install Butler’s though, and everybody WILL notice, a fine testament that his products have more in common with art than with common hardware.
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