Walking through the calli, campi and campielli of Venice it is easy to notice statues, marble or Istrian stone decorations, low and high reliefs that adorn the walls of palaces, houses and churches. In particular, it is common to dwell on special "fixed handles" in the shape of a knob on doors commonly called "musi da porton".
They generally depict animals, especially lions, but also other mythological deities or Moorish heads. "Muzzle" to indicate the head of the animals and "porton" for the entrance door of houses, palaces and churches. They have a function similar to the marble heads present in the keystones of the arches of the doors common in many cities: mainly aesthetic but also religious-folkloric as guardians of the entrances and passages similar to the Roman lares, with the face of dogs, divinities or ancestors protectors houses, crossings and borders.
Even the faces of the porton can assume various expressions: from the most terrifying and severe to the most welcoming and auspicious faces. If thanks to the molds and the fusion of metals it is possible to replicate the same subject countless times, some techniques, such as the "lost wax" produce unique and precious specimens, rich in detail. Cast bronze knobs that recall how many hands have held them over time, almost giving them life.