Sep 22 2008

How To Fake An R.J. Horner

Published by at 12:25 pm under Ebay

Similar to my How to Fake a Herter Brothers post on RareVictorian.com, I thought I’d seize an opportunity to point out the equivalent for faking R.J. Horner furniture.

Basically, all you need is a piece of winged griffin Oak or Mahogany furniture and a paper or celluloid tag taken off of an original Horner piece.  Apply your newly acquired tag or label and you now have a piece that potential buyers would be hard-pressed to refute unless they were very seasoned collectors.

The above tag is currently on sale on Ebay and is already bid up to $177.  I’m afraid to think that it will end up nailed to a piece of furniture that is not truly made by Horner.  So many heavily-carved items end up attributed and many times practically guaranteed to be “BY Horner”.  I can see someone who owns a heavily carved piece who has convinced themselves that they have a Horner buy this tag to add to their piece to remove any doubt for prospective buyers (and psychologically, for themselves).

All one needs to do is see several examples of similar furniture by OTHER makers to know that the world of Horner furniture is wrought with uncertainty.  Here’s a mere smattering of furniture by other makers that resemble Horner items, here, here, and here.

There is no single reference book that shows the known documented furniture made by R.J. Horner so that one can confirm whether a piece they own is by Horner.

Now you know that even a tag isn’t enough to identify Horner items – the one above could end up on your next “Horner” piece.  The good news is that the paper labels that Horner had used are harder to remove and reapply. There is also a timeframe of applicability for the different lables that Horner utilized, so one could also research the timeframes for certain tags & labels for Horner and examine the furniture for a disconnect in timeframe.





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3 responses so far

3 Responses to “How To Fake An R.J. Horner”

  1. Kathleen Floydon 29 Mar 2010 at 8:05 pm

    How can you determine if a piece could be and “Horner” , I have a diningroom set, table, curve china cabinet and double deck buffet. All pieces have the griffin and it is made from mahogany.

  2. adminon 20 Apr 2010 at 9:49 am

    Without a label you need to find another labeled Horner like yours in reference images (auction sales, books). Don’t listen to anyone that tells you to look for this carving or that carving – too many makers did the same things.

  3. A. Allenon 29 Jul 2012 at 11:07 pm

    Hello,
    I happened to have purchased a piece in a local thrift store that had an R.J. Horner tag on the back I am afraid that I have listed on ebay I’m not sure if its real or not. It is a liquor cabinet I believe And the auction ends soon What should I do. The only reason I thought it was real was because of the tag that was on the back. I saw the tag with the name then I put it on ebay and saw all of the nice things and also looked up some information online also finding your website. I would hate to have put something out there that is not authentic please help. the tag that is on the back of my cabinet is exactly is the is the same as some of the ones I saw If you could respond quickly as possible I would like to end this auction before anybody bid on it if it’s not authentic I have put pictures on ebay if you wish to look thank you.

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