This ca. 1902 Stickley-Brandt Chair is up for auction on Ebay and it’s description inspired me to write up a post about the mythical “Horner Egg” that they use for corroboration of a Horner attribution. As we can see with this well-documented chair, one cannot use the cabochon motif alone when attributing R.J. Horner pieces. It was a common motif of the Renaissance Revival, in general.
Now, I have also often seen reference to a “ribbed egg” as a basis for Horner attribution. “Ribbed”, meaning that a stripe or line runs across the breadth of the egg, usually bisecting it. We cannot use the “ribbed egg” argument, either, when attributing Horner as we can see from this carving from a 1911 labeled Oriel Cabinet, Co. (from Grand Rapids) set, below.
Now, I won’t say that Horner didn’t use this motif. I’m not remotely saying that, as I know he did. I’m just saying all “Horner eggs” should be considered carefully and non-qualified (without attributed, probably) associations should not be made without labels or without comparison to known labeled pieces. I would actually prefer it to be called the “Renaissance egg” or cabochon rather than be permanently associated with Horner. Doing so smacks of the “Belter” craze decades ago when all Rococo furniture was called Belter furniture.
I was spurred into action to write up a post about this killer Horner-attributed sofa currently up for sale. Current price is $3,150 but I don’t expect that to stand. This is probably from the 1890-1900 timeframe and is made of mahogany. These sofas come up from time to time and every Horner fan should own one.
I’ll let the seller provide the details:
Up for auction is this spectacular attributed to Horner sofa in mahogany adorned with full standing winged griffins, large reeded colums, and massive ball and claw feet. I could spend all day describing this fantastic piece but i’ll just give you what you need to know and let the pics say the rest. Finish is original and in very good condition. The flame mahogany used in construction is beautiful and well pronounced. The carving on this piece is world class and very detailed. An obviously well taken care of high end piece of furniture history.
More pictures, information and bidding available at the listing.
Ron Roads’ auction has been in operation for 50 years and was originally started by his father, Vic Rhoads. I was contacted by Ron regarding an upcoming sale that they are having which will feature a rather extroardinary bedroom suite attributed to R.J. Horner.
Due to my proximity to their location, I was able to see the suite in person and they permitted me to take photographs, which I will share below. The link to Horner is a metal tag which was located in one of the drawers during it’s lifetime and stays with the set today. There is a chance that the tag could have been bought and added to the set during it’s history, and I leave that open to possibility, but based on what I know from Ron, I don’t think that is the case. I think this is the real deal.
This is a combination that I never imagined that I would see – a combination kneehole desk and sofa with integrated drawers. It has the simple lines that are typical of the transition from Victorian to the early turn of the 20th century, but true to Horner form, it sports a set of paw feet. The label isn’t captured very well in the images but the Horner label design can be seen and the seller states that it even includes the date – 1908.
If I didn’t have a stairway that prevents it’s ascension to my office on the top floor, I would be a serious bidder. Bidding starts at $1,999 – more information at the listing.
Up for auction is this well-carved throne or X-chair with figural lions on the armrests. The back of the chair is especially well carved with either a man-of-the-mountain or Zeus face prominently displayed. The two handles on the chair back are also carved lion figures with open mouths and fangs.
Bidding starts at $200 and expected range is $400 to $600. More at the listing.