Retro Renovation Breaking News: New midcentury modern Samba exterior door hardware from Rejuvenation

midcentury modern doorset escutcheon, samba by rejuvenation
You read it here first: On Monday Feb. 13 Rejuvenation will be officially launching their new Samba doorset escutcheon. But I saws the catalog posting Friday, jumped on it and posted the first photos last night. This morning, I got these fullsize photos from the PR department, along with some additional info. According to Rejuv, the Samba is a reproduction of a doorset introduced by the Weiser Company in the latter half of the 1960s. Then, it was simply named “Modern Escutcheon.” About the design, Rejuv says, “It spotlights the dynamic dance between dramatic mid-’60s sophistication and the clean simplicity of Mid-Century Modern design.” I would call it brutalist.

Overnight I also asked Rejuvenation industrial designer Tim Wetzel for his thoughts:

This is one we really had a hard time figuring out. I disgree with Bo’s Brutalism tag, but you can be the judge. Brutalism is one of those terms that sends most people (self included) off to Google for a definition. I found this site that seems to explain Brutalism well: http://criticundertheinfluence.wordpress.com/2011/11/20/brutalism-the-word-itself-and-what-we-mean-when-we-say-it/ [Note from Pam, here is my story on Brutalist Furniture: https://retrorenovation.com/2010/10/13/brutalist-design-furniture-from-lane/]

To me Samba is all about decoration for decoration’s sake, which is 180 degrees opposite of the concepts of Brutalism. But what the Samba style is seems really tough to pin down. Maybe there is some vaguely Polynesian reference.  Maybe it was just a crazy fun doodle that we are over-thinking.  We still have the package it came in, but there is no clue on that as to the style – it was labeled simply “Modern”.  One thing for sure- it is striking, unusual and beyond the motifs typically seen on fancy door sets.

It will be interesting to see if your readers have a name for this style, or if they can point to other items with a similar motif.

Continue on for big honkin’ photos of all the finishes — and a lovely room shot.

“At a height of 16in., the Samba comes with the Schlage Orbit locking set and everything you need for a door with a 2-3/8in. or 2-3/4in. backset, plus an optional matching deadbolt.” It comes in three finishes — polished brass, polished chromes, and brushed chrome. Looks like it is $280. If that fazes you, you can occasionally find these vintage, but be sure they fit. See this story for some additonal examples of fabulous door escutcheons found via this blog, now mostly sold.

midcentury modern doorset escutcheon, samba by rejuvenation

The first reader who finds me a photo with an authentic vintage one of these wins my everlasting admiration and if I get my act together, one of my vintage Fuller Brush salesman spatulas. Link: Samba doorset from Rejuvenation.


  1. Judy says:

    I just bought an original in pewter finish on eBay for 19.95!! I’ll send a picture as soon as I get it.

  2. Angela Anderson says:

    Just saw this on Pinterest. I love the Brutalist style, and I agree with Steve that it has a brutalist look. I also agree about the square knob looking fabulous with it!

  3. Emma says:

    Jen, you could look into commercial (rather than residential/big box store) offerings. Brushed Bronze (also called Satin Bronze) is a close if not identical match to vintage brushed copper finishes, and it is a standard finish for commercial locks. Schlage, Yale, Sargent, and other commercial lockmakers all offer cylindrical doorknobs and deadbolts in that finish that would be perfect for MCM homes. They’re a bit pricy but the quality and security make up for it, and you won’t need to replace them for a very long time.

    You might have to contact a locksmith to order Yale and Sargent locks, however much of Schlage’s commercial range is readily available to purchase online.

  4. Christy Gann says:

    There’s one of these on a house I inherited that my grandfather built in the 50’s. It’s on the front door which was added later so I didn’t realize it was mid century. Someone painted the door and over it when they did. I can share a photo if needed.

  5. MS says:

    This escutcheon is great! I love brutalism – and this is it. Look at Paul Evans. Don’t compare it to brutalist architecture – look at the decorative art, furniture, and jewelry. Glad this beauty is being reproduced!

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