Mar 31 2008

R. J. Horner Original Catalog ca. 1888

Published by at 1:13 pm under furniture catalog

Remember that R.J. Horner pamphlet I was searching for? I never thought that I’d see one, let alone own one in my lifetime, but I acquired this ca. 1888 copy. I hope to make this and other original catalogs fully available online after I relaunch Rare Victorian’s new site design in April.

This catalog is an interesting window into the art of decorating homes in the late 19th century. According to the pamphlet, R. J. Horner & Co. did not issue a comprehensive furniture catalog and instead issued this smaller pamphlet,

“Considering how great is the variety of taste and fashion in furniture at the present day, and that the styles are frequently changing, we do not deem it practical to issue a catalogue of our stock in its entirety, or anything approaching thereto.”

The furniture drawings are limited to vast perspectives of entire floors filled with furniture and it is amazing to see the broad variety of furniture sold, none of which are pieces that we’re accustomed to attributing to Horner.

The text of the pamphlet is divided into sections by rooms, “The Hall”, “The Dining Room”, “The Drawing Room”, “The Library”, and “The Bedroom”. The final paragraphs speak to Horner’s “Specimen Rooms” and “How We Conduct Our Business”. The Specimen Rooms were fully furnished rooms demonstrating decorating ideas for each type of room in a typical house.

The final statement prior to presenting their trade name and address is that

“We have ONE PRICE only – marked in plain figures – and allow no discounts.”


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