I think these pieces of vintage South African Railways hardware would definitely count as some of the quirkier items that we’ve had for sale on Mint! I was told by the person I bought them from (who is a slightly obsessive railway enthusiast!) that the shorter rail was actually used as a towel rail. I was doubtful at first, as the gap between the rail and the wall would be very slim, but I suppose space is limited on trains, so every inch counts!
The longer rail would originally have been one of a pair used by passengers to mount the train – so they were in fact very large handles that you held as you climbed onto the train. I can still see this being used as a handle on a large wooden door – we had a more modern version of this handle on our front door in Durban, and if you get the proportions right, a long slim handle like this can look great – and of course personally I think that this vintage version would be way more interesting (and more solid) than any contemporary handles you could buy (calling any architects/designers out there!). Of course you could also use it as loooong towel rail like we have in the photos – you just need a nice luxurious bathroom to accommodate a towel rail this long!
P.S. Thank you to Vicky and Kabelo for their patience with holding the rails while I took my pics!
Dimensions: Long SAR handle – 139cm long x 7cm deep (distance to wall), tube measures approx. 2.3cm in diameter; Shorter SAR towel rail – 86.5cm long x 4.5cm deep (distance to wall), tube measures approx. 2.7cm in diameter