Well, it appears we had a pretty good stumper in this latest Mystery Photo, though one reader came close enough to identify where the photo was taken, but not explain exactly what it was.
The photo was of a decorative door knob in Scotty's Castle in Death Valley National Park. And one that had been handled quite a bit down through the years, judging from the well-worn snout of the what seems to be a deer head.
The Death Valley Ranch, as the property as a whole was called early on, was certainly unusual, from its clock tower all the way down to its ornate door hardware, as Dorothy Shally and William Bolton noted in their booklet, Death Valley's Fabulous Showplace, Scotty's Castle:
A large handcrafted metal chandelier hangs from the center of the high-beamed redwood ceiling. Jasper from west of Goldfield, Nevada, was brought in to build a stone fountain on the east wall. Water falls over the face of the rock into an attractive pond, thus bringing the sound of running water to the desert as well as serving as a humidifier for the Castle. Oppose the fountain, a large fireplace enhances the warm atmosphere of the two-story room. Mythological figures, such as bat-like andirons, are seen throughout the Castle in tiles, bronze-studded figures on the iron radiator grilles, and other room trim.
The photo was taken inside the second-floor foyer in the annex on a door that opens into the lanai.