Thursday, February 01, 2007

The Hundred Year Mark - R.J. Horner & Co.


In the Seventies it was all about Thonet. In the Eighties, you either did not want to or could not buy Belter and Meeks. In the Nineties it was Stickley, preferably the actual old stuff. So, now that the century is well under way, I thought I'd take a look at what is newly qualified to call itself antique and on its way to becoming the next fad. It looks like R.J. Horner to me. Made of Cuban mahogany, or figured maple or oak, and featuring crazy curly decorations on straight frames, heavy on the griffins (gryphons), paw feet, shields and crests all around and somewhat Italianate in form, it seems a strange candidate for New York City taste, but what do I know? They were at 61, 62, and 63 West 23rd Street at the turn of the last century.

There were tables and armoires and hat stands and bookcases and desks too.

In Kolkata, that hotbed of antiquarian activity, my mother once found and domesticated a pair of armchairs that I think must be related to this bestiary. Nobody knew what the hell they were....

This robust looking sofa sold on December 4th, 2004 for $13,225

The slightly restrained but completely gargoylicious item below and a pair of matching armchairs went for $51,750 on January 15, 2007

Companion pieces to a massive sofa

Pictures from:,

This animale below and its matching chairs are estimated to fetch $20,000, but will probably do better

Below-- almost, but not quite Horner!

first below (too tasteful--wrong!) and further below
(too frumpy!)

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