At last, the casement windows in the front entry and above the mantle in the living room have their latches restored. For reasons beyond my comprehension, some previous owner decided that these windows would be better as fixed windows instead of operating ones. They removed the latches and, in the case of the living room windows, puttied the gap between the sashes and the frames.
This summer, I installed the screens on the casement windows in the front entry for the first time and discovered how well these windows help air move through the house. In addition to boosting cross-ventilation, these windows are very effective at ventilating the warmest air in the room due to their high position on the wall.
From the screw holes and impressions made by the original latches, I found that my measurements didn’t match any of the lever-style casement latches I have seen, antique or reproduction. Then, at Gilded Salvage, I found these t-handle latches that are nearly an exact match to my measurements. Actually, I found one latch that was a perfect match and several others that were identical in style but with a slightly smaller mounting plate. I bought a total of six matching latches– four for the windows in the entry and above the mantle, and two more for the pair of windows in the basement that were removed from the wall between the living room and the front porch. The mounting screws are new brass that I darkened with the antiquing chemical I’ve used on previous projects.
Gilded Salvage is currently my favorite place for old house parts. Although it isn’t the biggest salvage shop in town, it is very well organized, well-supplied and tidy. The owners, Scott and Christina, are helpful and outgoing, too. Plus they are stroller-friendly and have a candy jar, so I never have a problem convincing my kids to go “treasure hunting” with me.
On the trip that yielded these lovely latches, my youngest slept in his stroller, while my oldest helped me sort the bin of casement latches by handle style and size. It’s never too early to start nurturing an eye for details!