The Horn Collection

The Horners Company have an extensive collection of horn with over 400 items.
Amongst its principal items are:

Our extensive collection of artefacts numbers over 400 and includes items dating back to the early sixteen hundreds. They include many of the items that have been fashioned from horn. Lanterns,(the panes of which were originally made of translucent panes of horn), beakers, combs, drinking horns, powder horns and boxes.
The collection is housed at the Museum of design in Plastics (MoDiP) in Bournemouth and can be viewed on their website by clicking here
MoDiP also, in 2007, held an exhibition of horn with items from our collection and details are here.

This mighty artefact which used to be carried by one of the stronger members of the Company at the head of the procession into dinner at the Annual Banquet and into lunch on Election Day, was presented to the Horners’ Company by William Percival Dobson in 1968 when he was Master. It weighs about 55 lbs (25kg) and is almost 9 feet in length. It was ‘taken’ from an arctic whale (mondon monceros) in about 1801, which is well before the narwhal became a protected species in 1972.

Sadly it has become so fragile it can no longer be processed. Instead, it is to be displayed at Guildhall  for all to see.

Fortunately our Hon Keeper of Horn has acquired for the Company, two replica narwhal horns made of resin by a former Horner, Anthony Redmile, and one of these is now processed instead.

Ram’s head mull on three small castors with silver mounts. Above the hinge of the cairngorm-mounted lid is inscribed ‘Presented to the Worshipful Company of Horners by James Holbert Wilson, Esq., Barrister at Law of the Inner Temple. November 2, 1846’. Ram’s horn mulls were made for guild and regimental occasions as well as for use on the large private estates from the 18th Century. These ram’s head snuff mulls were made with castors so that they could be moved easily from one persons to the next at the table. (taken from Paula Hardwick – Discovering Horn).

Norman Tulip, Deceased 1995,  was the UK’s leading stick dresser whose horn sticks bore intricately and beautifully carved handles. He became a Freeman of the Horner’s Company in the 1970’s and presented  carved sticks to The Master,  his two Wardens, the Deputy Master and the Clerk who still carry these sticks on ceremonial occasions as symbols of office.

Norman Tulip also presented the Horners with his Victory stick, carved to commemorate the Allies Victory in Europe. It is made with a 10 year aged holly shaft. Carved in horn are a uniformed soldier with tin hat and gun, a Victory V sign modelled from Norman’s own fingers, copies of Churchill and Eisenhower’s signatures engraved by soldiering iron, and the shaft is painted with Allied flags.

It is now part of our collection of Horn Artefacts.

Packs of paying cards were presented to guests at the Banquet in Mansion House on Oct 1st 2009. With either blue or red backs, they are available at £5 per pack from the Clerk.
Each card shows a different item from our collection of Horn and you can view and read a detailed description of the each one below:

Spades

Ace of Spades
The Deputy Master’s Badge – (previously the Masters Badge) presented to the Company on 2nd February 1880 by the Wardens of the Company, Capt.George Cockle, H.W.Christmas and Col.W.P.Draffen.

Two of Spades
Collection Number: 26 Acquired in 1973 Exhibited at Worthing Exhibition 1973 Size: 21 x 5 cms
Powder Horn with brass mounts and engravings in the style of scrimshaw – The engraving depicts the first railway journey from Manchester to Liverpool in 1830. The horn is of a lovely creamy colour with brass fittings and a fitted cap with a dispenser of the Sykes type. The ships have been identified as a barquantine, a brigantine and a schooner sailing towards a Chinese Junk.
Provenance: W.P. Dobson

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Three of Spades
Collection Number: 155 Acquired in 1973 Exhibited at Worthing Exhibition 1973 Size: 6 x 9 cms
Cruet set of three pieces with silver mounts and shields. Horn spoon in the mustard pot. c.1910
Provenance: W.P. Dobson

Four of Spades
Collection Number: 49 Acquired – unknown Exhibited at Worthing Exhibition 1973 Size 9 cms diameter
Bun comb with incised decoration – not hinged but made from one piece of moulded greenhorn – 19th century. (Greenhorn is the name given to horn that has been heated and pressed flat in a heated hydraulic vice. “The laminations are compacted which gives the horn extra strength, and it also develops a greenish hue as a result of the intense heat and removal of the sulphur.” (Paula Hardwick – Discovering Horn))
Provenance: gift to WCH

Five of Spades
Collection Numbers: 311,313, 314,315 and 336 Acquired in 2001 Sizes: 11cms to 23.5 cms
A selection of translucent horn spoons with silver shields on the handles – The double ended spoon was used for measuring and taking medicines.
Provenance: Acquired by WCH (Clemson Collection).

Six of Spades
Collection Number 288 Acquired in 2001 Size: 9cms long x 3.5 cm diameter
Snuff mull with silver hinge and silver disc on the lid – initial GT 1745. As a container for snuff, a horn lent itself admirably to the hand of the horner. “The actual tip was impractical to leave in its original form, because the point would make holes in the pocket of the carrier, so the horner whittled the tip to a narrower diameter, heated it and curled it into a scroll shape.” (Paula Hardwick – Discovering Horn)
Provenance: Acquired by WCH (Clemson Collection).

Seven of Spades
Collection Number: 4 Acquired – unknown Exhibited at Worthing Exhibition 1973 Size: 21.5 x 19 cms
Leather Costrel, patched on one side with two holes for suspension. (A costrel could be worn suspended from the waist). Possibly 17th century.

Eight of Spades
Collection Number: 108 Acquired in 1973 Exhibited at Worthing Exhibition 1973 Size: 21 x 6 x 9 cms approx
Powder horn in ram’s horn with brass rings on either side for a belt or hanging strap. “The flask has a rich, mellow brown toning, very similar to seventeenth-century quality oak. The concentric pin gravings and roundels, of the Scandinavian type, are finely executed on the smooth side of the horn, while the classical ridging remains undecorated on the opposite side. ….The metalwork is of iron and the general impression from an arms’ specialist would be that this is a rare early piece from the seventeenth century.” (Paula Harwick – Discovering Horn)

Nine of Spades
The Master’s drinking horn – presented to the Company in 1977 by Adele Schaverien and Margaret Bunford. (These two ladies were granted the Freedom of the Company as working lady horners in 1977, the same year that they started Cornucopia.) London hallmark AS and MB.

Ten of Spades
Dressed horn stick – shag Acquired 1991
This exquisitely carved stick (in black horn) was carved by Norman Tulip (1914 to 1995) who was made an honorary freeman of the Horners Company in the 1970s. The quality of the carving is superb and many fine illustrations of his work can be found in his book The Art of Stick Dressing. This stick is carried by the Clerk whilst performing his duties.

Jack of Spades
Collection Number:38 Acquired – unknown Exhibited at Worthing Exhibition 1973 Size: 8.5 x 7.5 cms.
Horn book containing the alphabet and the Lord’s Prayer; oak frame covered with leather which is stamped on the reverse with a figure of Charles I on horseback. Probably 17th century. This elementary one–page text book was intended to be used by children and was also called a primer.

Queen of Spades
Collection Number :13 Acquired in 1973 Exhibited at Worthing Exhibition 1973 Size: 10 x 8 cms
Oval box of pressed horn with a portrait of Queen Anne. Horn boxes vary considerably in size, shape and colour. Many of the boxes dated to the period when tobacco taking was popular are assumed to have been made for that purpose. In the same way the word snuff has been used indiscriminately for boxes which may well have had another function. This unsigned horn box is attributed to John Obrisset who came over from France with his family to England in about 1686. His father was originally one of the Hugunot Group of Engravers in Dieppe and John probably was taught the techniques in the home workshop. Phillips has written very authoritatively about John Obrisset and more detailed knowledge can be gained by referring to his published research dated 1931.
Provenance: Acquired from W.P. Dobson.

Hearts

Ace of Hearts
The Master’s Badge – Engraved ‘Presented by Donald Du Parc Braham, Master 1991 – 92 the year of the grant of new armorial bearings to the Company 7th October 1993′. Silver, heightened with black enamel, cast with a rearing ram, narwhal horn and a benzene ring with Bottle Makers and Horner’s shield within a cusped decagonal cartouche.

Two of Hearts
Collection Number: 109 Acquired – 1973 Exhibited at Worthing Exhibition 1973 Size 18.5 x 5 cms
Silver mounted powder flask with an engraved end plate bearing the crest of the East Kent Regiment. 19th century.
Provenance: W.P. Dobson

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Three of Hearts
Collection Number: 350 Acquired – 2002 Size 9.5 x 3 cms
Turned powder flask in cream and brown coloured horn – 19th or early 20th century. This flask unscrews and would, most likely, have been filled with French chalk to ease the fingers into a glove.
Provenance: Gift of Dr. Sprackling

Four of Hearts
Collection Number: 55 Acquired – Unknown Exhibited at Worthing Exhibition 1973 Size 17.5cms
Ladies back comb, Horn was commonly stained as it takes dye well and was less expensive than tortoiseshell – in fact it was often stained to imitate it. “Tortois Combs, made of the sea and land Tortoiseshell, the counterfeit combs of this sort are Horn stained with Tortois shell colours” Randle Holme 1688 (Horn its History and its Uses by Adele Schaverien) English 19th Century.

Five of Hearts
The Five Cups
Top left – a Charles II style silver porringer and cover. Engraved ‘Presented to the Worshipful Company of Horners by William Percival Dobson Esquire, Citizen and Horner, 1st June 1948.
Top right – a Victorian silver gilt goblet, engraved with the shield of the Bottlemakers and Horners Company surmounted by the motto ‘Deo et principe’ – ‘the gift of George Lambert, a member of the Court to the Horners Company 2nd February 1893′.
Centre – a silver gilt and horn panelled two-handled loving cup and cover. Designed by Bernard Schaverien and commissioned to celebrate the Millenium.
Bottom Left – a George IV silver gilt cup and cover with scrolled cast handles and engraved ‘The gift of Alexander Clark, a member of the Livery’ and ‘The Horner’s Loving Cup’, Rebecca Emes, London 1821.
Bottom Right – a George II style silver two handled goblet engraved with the arms of the Bottlemakers and Horners Company. ‘Presented to Mr. Deputy Millar Wilkinson, past Master and the father of the company as a mark of the high esteem and regard in which he is held by the members and in recognition of his long and greatly valued services in connection with the Company for over forty years. Dated this 18th day of June 1920 Guildhall, London’. (Master in 1885)

Six of Hearts
Collection Number: 326 Acquired 2001 Size 15 x 5cms
Horn boot pull (for riding boots) – made in a narrow curved dark horn, either from the tip of a goat or antelope horn. It has a handle of yellow wood and is probably late Victorian or Edwardian.
Provenance: Acquired by WCH (Clemson Collection).

Seven of Hearts
Collection Number: 287 Acquired in 2001 Size 10.5cms x 4/5cms
A collapsible horn beaker, in three graduated sections that stack one inside the other (for ease of carrying). When assembled, each section slots into a groove set within the lower ring of horn. Late 19th/early 20th Century.
Provenance: Acquired by WCH (Clemson Collection).

Eight of Hearts
Collection Number: 110 Acquired in 1973 Exhibited at Worthing Exhibition 1973 Size 14 x 10cms
Moulded horn powder flask with brass and copper mountings. 19th Century – continental in origin. This type of flask, a gourd shape produced in translucent horn, was called a lanthorn flask (Horn its History and its Uses, Adele Schaverien)
Provenance: W.P. Dobson

Nine of Hearts
19th Century copy of a Medieval style drinking horn. Mounted on three silver claws and with a silver finial of a reptilian (possibly snake) head. Presented by Anthony Clarke in his year as Master 1975.

Ten of Hearts
Dressed horn stick – trout This stick was presented to the Company in 1985 and is carried by the Renter Warden. Norman Tulip felt it was the best trout stick he had produced. (See 10 of Spades).

Jack of Hearts
Livery Dubbing Cloth

Queen of Hearts
Collection Number : 167 Acquired in 1973 Exhibited at Worthing Exhibition 1973 Size: 7×5/6 cms
Horn Snuff Mull with attractive silver mounts – the shape often being referred to as ‘Jacobite’ or of bombé shape. There would have been a grater inside the lid (missing) to enable the snuff to be powdered. 18th century.
Provenance: W.P. Dobson

King of Hearts
Collection Number: 20 Acquired in 1973 Exhibited at Worthing Exhibition 1973 Size: 10 x 8 cms
Oval pressed horn box with an equestrian portrait of Peter the Great of Russia holding a sword over his right arm. The middle ground shows five ships and there are flowers in the foreground. The boxed is signed ‘SL’ – Samuel Lambelet who was a medallist to the court of Brunswick-Luneburg between the years of 1698 and 1727. This box could have been produced to commemorate the foundation of the Russian navy by Peter in 1714. (Further information on SL and OB boxes can be found in Phillips – John Obrisset 1931.)
Provenance: Acquired from W. P. Dobson

Clubs

Ace of Clubs
The Renter Warden’s badge

Two of Clubs
Collection Numbers: 44 and 73 Acquired in 1973 Exhibited at Worthing Exhibition 1973 Sizes: 11 cms and 22.5 cm
Horse Combs
Left: Horse comb in greenhorn –made in Milnthorpe. Circa 1920 (see 4 Spades for explanation of greenhorn)
Right: Horse comb in white horn. Hand-cut circa 1820
Combs such as these are considered to have been used for grooming the winter coat before the habit of clipping which began during the early 1820’s.
Provenance: Acquired from W.P. Dobson

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Three of Clubs
Collections Numbers: 306, 334 and 336 Acquired in 2001 Sizes: 43.5 cms, 9 cms and 15.6 cms respectively
306: Large horn ladle – English or Scottish dating from the late 18th century.
334:Translucent narrow beaker, marked with fluid oz measurements
336:Double-ended spoon made in translucent horn used to measure and administer medicines. Probably Scottish – 19th century (as is the beaker above).
“These necessary items are now produced in modern plastic materials; and in turn the earliest examples are now sought out by those who collect early plastic “. (Horn Its History and its Uses – Adele Schaverien)
Provenance: Acquired by WCH (Clemson Collection).

Four of Clubs
Collection Number: 56 Acquired: unknown Exhibited at Worthing Exhibition 1973 Size: 14 x 10 cms
Back comb with pierced decorative panel that features tulips with the initials ‘IHB’ and 1694 scratched on both sides. “The comb is made from plates of translucent oxhorn and the elaborately pierced designs were probably cut by small ribbon saws, using the same technique as fanstick piercing” Discovering Horn – Paula Hardwick. See also seven of Clubs. This comb was on display in the Museum of London’s Late Stuart Gallery.

Five of Clubs
Collection Numbers: 122, 123, 125 (Exhibited at Worthing Exhibition) 277 and 284
Top left 123: 19th century Horn Beaker
Top right 284: Engraved Beaker in cream coloured horn. Showing trailing plants, a rose and thistle. Masonic symbols are displayed on one side and the name Smith appears on the other. Early 19th century.
Centre 277: Early 19th century horn beaker engraved with a hunting scene.
Bottom left 122: Horn Beaker with a glass bottom. Circa 1800.
Bottom right 125: 19th century translucent horn beaker.
Horn beakers were produced in large numbers in the 19th century – hunting scenes being very popular, as were floral designs, and many may reflect the probable occupations of their original owners

Six of Clubs
Collection Number: 271 Acquired in 1994 Size: 3.5 x 3.5 cms.
Black Maltese Cross brooch – possibly a mourning brooch. “Numerous jet brooches were also made during the nineteenth century and it was not long before horners were using buffalo horn, of similar weight, to imitate the jet designs. Mourning jewellery was in fashion, particularly following the death of Prince Albert in December 1861, and so buffalo horn provided a lucrative and attractive answer to many horn-workers.” (Discovering Horn – Paula Hardwick)
Provenance: a gift to the WCH by Dr. Anne Saunders

Seven of Clubs
Collection Number: 318 Acquired in 2001 Size: 16 cms in length
Horn leaved brisé fan stained to imitate tortoise-shell – probably English. Early 19th century. The brisé fan is a type of folding fan, most commonly made from over-lapping, transparent thin sticks of horn. These are pierced by means of a wire which is fed into a tiny saw, resulting in delightfully delicate work.
Provenance: Clemson Collection

Eight of Clubs
Collection Number: 106 Acquired in 1973 Exhibited at Worthing Exhibition 1973 Size: 19 cms long
Priming horn made of ram’s horn and engraved bone with metal fittings. The spring mechanism enabled the user to dispense gunpowder with one hand.
Provenance: W.P. Dobson

Nine of Clubs
Redmile Horns Acquired in 1976 Size: 27ins to the top of the finial
A pair of silver mounted horns on silver plinths – the Horns are believed to be from the Ankole–Watusi cows from India. The lid has a large Malacite egg finial and there is a silver tapering cap with a smaller Malacite egg finial to the end of the Horn. Engraved ‘presented by J. Antony Redmile on his admission to the freedom of the Company’. Currently on loan to the 27th Squadron as Trophies.

Ten of Clubs
Dressed horn stick – stags and trout

Jack of Clubs
Collection number: 238 Acquired in 1973 Exhibited at Worthing Exhibition 1973 Size 11x7cms
Modern lantern light in green horn. Made at Milnthorpe. 1900-1940. Carried with the procession at the Election Day Lunch and Carol Service. “In medieval times there was a steady demand for horn ‘leaves’ as lanterns were a necessity for the honest citizen as well as by night watchmen. The City of London was ahead of Paris in asking its citizens to ‘light the streets and lanes’. The first of these proclamations, issued by the Lord Mayor and Aldermen to the citizens of London, was in 1404. They were ‘charged on the Kings behalf and the City’ for ‘lanterns to be hung out of windows with a candle therein’”. (Horn Its History and its Uses – Adele Schaverien)

Queen of Clubs
Collection number: 355 Acquired in 2002 Size 8.5cms in diameter
Circular tobacco box in dark coloured baleen with silver mounts. (baleen is a by-product from the whaling industry and could be moulded in the same way as horn – both being formed from keratin). The lid of the box shows animals entering Noah’s Ark and the base has an impressed detail of Jonah escaping from the whale. Believed to date from the 18th century.
Provenance: Acquired by the Company from Christopher Eimer

King of Clubs
Collection number: 12 Acquired in 1973 Exhibited at Worthing Exhibition 1973 Size 10 x 8 cms
Oval pressed horn box depicting James II (uncrowned). Signed OB – John Obrisset (see information on Queen of Spades).
Provenance: W.P. Dobson

Diamonds

Ace of Diamonds
The Past Master’s Badge One of a number of Past Master’s Badge – this one is engraved: Richard David Shephard Master 1974-1975

Two of Diamonds
This delightful silver head of a fish was made by Antony Redmile, who made the magnificent Redmile Horns referred to in Nine of Clubs. This fish head resides in the case that protects the Narwhal Horn as it acts as a support for the base of the horn (the Narwhal Horn is processed at the Annual Banquet).

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Three of Diamonds
Collection Numbers: 280,281 and 282 Acquired in 2001 Size 6/7cms in diameter
Top 281: Moulded black horn Quaich with impressed detail on the underside formed by the moulding process. Probably late 19th Century.
Middle 282: Black and cream horn Quaich .
Bottom 280: Light honey coloured horn Quaich with three silver discs – one in the centre and one each on the ‘ears’ with the initials ‘M’ and ‘L’.
The Quaich comes from the Gaelic word cuach (meaning a cup) and is a traditional Scottish drinking vessel most commonly associated with a dram of whisky.
Provenance : Clemson Collection

Four of Diamonds
Collection Number: 319 Acquired in 2001 Size 21.5 cms in length
Decorative back comb in light coloured, transluscent horn with moulded decoration depicting trailing ivy leaves. Mid to late 19th Century.
Provenance: Clemson Collection

Five of Diamonds
Collection Numbers: 307,308,362,363b and 364 Acquired in 2001 & 2003
From left to right –
362: Three pronged fork possibly 18th Century
308: French knife with translucent horn handle (one of a set of six) with acanthus leaf decoration.
363b: Large horn fork (matching spoon not shown) possibly intended as salad servers. Late 19th or early 20th Century.
364: Small knife with translucent horn blade spliced into a black horn handle.
307: Two pronged fork (marked steel) with buffalo horn handles.
Provenance: 362,363b and 364 were donated by Robert Watts 307 and 308 – Clemson Collection

Six of Diamonds
Collection Number: 34 Acquired in 1973 Exhibited at Worthing Exhibition 1973 Size 11 x 7cms
Cigar case in stained horn to imitate tortoiseshell. Japanese lacquered design on outer case – circa 1900. (see Four of Heats for mention of staining horn to imitate tortoiseshell)

Seven of Diamonds
Collection Number: 162 Acquired in 1950 Exhibited at Worthing Exhibition 1973 Size 15 x 14cms
Scotch Knoll or Snuff Mull. Silver mounted with a topaz in the centre of the embossed silver lid. The five tools attached to the horn are:
A pricker – to loosen the snuff
A mallet – to break up any lumps of snuff
A spoon – to place the snuff on the back of the hand
A rake – to smooth the snuff
A hare’s foot – to clear away any spare grains
The snuff mull bears an inscription ‘Presented to Mr. J. N. Cooper of London by a few of his Caledonian friends in Kent as a mark of their respect for his honesty and liberalty as a merchant and kindness and hospitality as a gentleman’. 1807
Provenance: Donated by Alfred H. Caro

Eight of Diamonds
Collection Number: 104 Acquired in 1973 Exhibited at Worthing Exhibition 1973 Size 24×5.7 cms
Turned Priming Horn with wood and metal fittings. Late 17th Century but the chain is believed to be of a later date. The spring mechanism enabled the user to dispense gunpowder with one hand.
Provenance: W.P. Dobson

Nine of Diamonds
Horners Award for Plastics The Horners Award is run jointly by the Horners Company and the British Plastics Federation and is an annual award for an imaginative or innovative contribution to the plastics industry. The award is considered to be the oldest extant award for plastics and is awarded at the Annual Banquet – usually by Lord Mayor who is Patron of the Award. It was first awarded in 1947.

Ten of Diamonds
Dressed Horn Stick – Pheasant

Jack of Diamonds
‘The Masters Staff of Office’. The Mace is made of two-colour horn and 9ct. gold with a finial of three radiating horns and is engraved with the Arms of the City of London. The shield of the Bottlemakers and Horner’s Company is adjacent to a shield Engraved ‘The gift of Leslie C. Becker, Master 1955-6, in memory of his father George Becker a benefactor of the Company’. London 1955.

Queen of Diamonds
Collection Number: 19 Acquired in 1973 Exhibited Worthing Exhibition 1973 Size 10 x 8 cms
Oval Pressed Horn Box with portrait of Queen Anne, crowned. Signed ‘SL’ (Samuel Lambelet – see the King of Hearts) and surrounded by the legend ‘ANNA D.G. MAG. BRIT.FRA.ET HIB REGINA’. Early 18th Century.
Provenance: Acquired from W.P. Dobson.

King of Diamonds
Collection Number: 10 Acquired in 1973 Exhibited Worthing Exhibition 1973 Size 9.5 x 8.6 cms
Circular horn box with pressed circular panel enclosing a portrait of Charles I in decorated armour. (According to Paula Hardwick – Discovering Horn – the design was based on a medal of Charles I by John Roetiers in 1670) The circular panel is surrounded by the legend:- CAROLVD.G.ANGLIAE.SCOTTIAE.HIBERNIAE REX . etc. Early 18th Century. Signed OB (see Queen of Spades).

Jokers

Acquired in 1846 Size approx.22 cms high
Ram’s head mull on three small castors with silver mounts. Above the hinge of the cairngorm-mounted lid is inscribed ‘Presented to the Worshipful Company of Horners by James Holbert Wilson, Esq., Barrister at Law of the Inner Temple. November 2, 1846′. Ram’s horn mulls were made for guild and regimental occasions as well as for use on the large private estates from the 18th Century. These ram’s head snuff mulls were made with castors so that they could be moved easily from one persons to the next at the table. (taken from Paula Hardwick – Discovering Horn).