The front and all interior doors in my house are what I’ve always called “six panel doors”; instead of being a flat sheet of wood or metal they have two square and four rectangular shapes debossed in them to give a more colonial feel. Supposedly they increase the resale value of your home, so the builder made them standard in all Phillips Dream Series houses. (I live in one of those.)
About a week ago I was reading a book set in New England and found out for the first time ever that these are also called “cross and bible” doors. What actually happened was that I read the description of the woman’s carpentry and thought “what is a cross and bible door?” so I looked it up on the internet.
Turns out this is why they’re called “Cross and Bible”–thank you, Historic House Blog, for the illustration.
Just now, in an effort to do as many pointless things as possible to forestall working on NaNoWriMo, I was sitting opposite one of those doors and got to looking at it. The way the cross part is, Jesus would have had to have the strangest arrangement of limbs. His arms would have to have been hinged to his waist for this cross to have worked at all. I swear to you I sat and looked at that stupid door for five whole minutes.
Then I found another website that claims the cross part is at the top,
and the bible part is at the bottom. It makes a little more sense. If Jesus was a dwarf. And the bible is one of those huge ones you have to read propped up on a lectern. Either way, I think perhaps the colonials who put this door on the front of all their houses in an eagerness to let the world know their homes contained Good Christian People were perhaps very bad at the art of symbolism and maybe over-reaching a bit.
I swear to you, this is going to bug me for the rest of the years I live in this house. Pity my husband who will have to hear about it often.