To celebrate the redesign and relaunch of RJHorner.com, I’m very pleased to present the full ca. 1888 R.J. Horner pamphlet, “Our American Homes and How We Furnish Them”. I am unaware of other surviving copies, but I’m sure there are decorative arts libraries and collectors somewhere with others. I’ve scanned it in high resolution so you can zoom in and see all the details, however, that makes the file size over 2Mb.
I highly recommend taking a look this time capsule of decorating guidance. The drawings of the factory and warehouse are worth looking at alone.
Access is open to everyone. Just follow the directions here and enjoy!
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.”