Nov 08 2008

R. J. Horner Mahogany Desk & Sofa Combination

Published by under Ebay,RJ Horner

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.

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Sep 22 2008

How To Fake An R.J. Horner

Published by 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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