R.J. Horner furniture pieces are some of the most sought-after in the antique market. They are known for their exceptional materials and construction, as well as their beautiful and distinctive carved motifs. The stunning presence of an R.J. Horner piece can transform any space, which makes them desirable to antique buyers around the world.
At Fontaine’s Auction Gallery, we specialize in antique furniture sales at auction, and we are a popular choice for R.J. Horner consignment.
Why Is R.J. Horner Furniture Popular?
R.J. Horner furniture is popular for its sophisticated style and expert construction. These pieces’ notable characteristics include:
- Exceptional quality. R.J. Horner furniture is made from only the highest quality materials. Many pieces are crafted from oak and mahogany, which are extremely durable and attractive types of wood.
- Details. The furniture has intricately carved details with popular motifs of wings, griffins, maidens and other ornate imagery that give the pieces a sense of classical grandiosity without gaudiness.
- Value. Because they are impeccably crafted from the finest wood and other materials, R.J. Horner furniture pieces are very valuable in the antique furniture market.
History of R.J. Horner Furniture
Robert J. Horner established his retail furniture company, R.J. Horner & Co., in 1886 in lower Manhattan with the goal of selling his furniture to a large market of buyers.
He marketed his pieces to both the wealthy and working class. While many of Horner’s contemporaries limited their marketing radius to their immediate area, Horner made his name and furniture known along the East Coast and even into the Midwest. Because Horner understood that people of all locations and financial means want quality furniture, he capitalized on a broader market.
Robert J. Horner established R.J. Horner & Co. in the year 1886 at 61-65 West 23rd St., N.Y. Horner’s intelligent business sense allowed him to follow the changes in furniture trends. With a keen marketing strategy, Horner targeted the wealthy as well as those who lived modestly. R.J. Horner furniture is heavily carved as well as formal and less embellished. Horner would display furniture in his building for people to see so they could get inspiration when designing their own homes. Not only did Horner produce furniture, but he also imported furniture, mostly from Europe.
R.J. Horner furniture includes dining room sets, partners desks, hall trees, bookcases, tables, china cabinets, servers, sideboards, parlor sets, clock cases, benches, mirrors and more using only the finest mahogany and oak hardwoods. Good sources of identification to determine if the piece was made by R.J. Horner & Co. are plaques and paper labels with the name R.J. Horner & Co. and quality detailed carvings of winged griffins, winged maidens, rat tail maidens, man of the mountain, and gadrooning. Although, if a piece bears the R.J. Horner label, it may not be a piece actually manufactured by R.J. Horner, as the firm also imported furniture, mostly from Europe and incorporated the firms signature label, according to John Fontaine. In the mid-1870’s, Americans had increased interest in the Japanese style, therefore to accommodate the burgeoning market, R.J. Horner & Co. started making faux bamboo furniture the year they opened, by using maple wood and staining it to depict bamboo.
After opening a few other factories, Horner’s final move was a new retail store located at 20 West 36th Street in the year 1912. R.J. Horner and George Flint combined their businesses in the year 1915, and Robert J. Horner Jr. became the secretary, but by the next year, both Horners and Flint were not officers of the company.
Horner earned a reputation as a top-notch furniture maker of his time with precisely, beautifully and distinctly carved pieces. He retired in 1915 after merging with a neighboring furniture manufacturer, George C. Flint.
Types of R.J. Horner Furniture
R.J. Horner produced many different types of retail furniture, including:
- Dining room sets.
- Partners desks.
- China cabinets.
- Hall trees.
- Parlor sets.
At Fontaine’s Auction Gallery, we have sold all types of R.J. Horner furniture pieces at auction, from mahogany curio cabinets and carved bookcases to complete dining room sets. Browse our past auctions to see the types of R.J. Horner furniture we have sold and for how much. If you’re interested in selling R.J. Horner antique furniture, we can help you actualize your item’s full sales potential.
Below Are Examples of R.J. Horner Furniture Sold at Fontaine’s Auction Gallery:
Sold for $27,225
This R.J. Horner figural carved oak hall bench has a large pierced carved crest with a center medallion that is flanked by winged maidens and winged griffins surrounded by ornate filigree. Overhanging is a cornice top with beveled mirror and large figural rattail maidens on either side. The base has figural winged griffin supports under the arms with lift top seat, carved front and back panel with an oval medallion with putti, figural griffins, and swirling filigree. The hall bench is in excellent condition with a nice clean enhanced original finish, no breaks, repairs or losses.
R.J. Horner Mahogany Grandfather Clock
Sold for $106,900
This R.J. Horner mahogany grandfather clock has full detailed female figures, winged griffins, pierced carved maiden crests, and a nine tube Elliot three-weight movement. This model is considered the finest of American carved tall case clocks. It is in mint original finish and stands at 10 feet tall.
Value of R.J. Horner Furniture
Are you wondering what the value of you R.J. Horner dresser, bench or other piece might be? The answer depends on several different factors, including:
- Rarity. Factors that make a piece of antique furniture rare include how many like it were originally made, how many are currently available and how easy or difficult it is to reproduce.
Aesthetics. Aesthetically pleasing furniture, such as pieces from R.J. Horner, features precise craftsmanship. All the design and details work together to create a harmonious and balanced look.
- Desirability. Desirability is often related to the maker or the type of piece. R.J. Horner items are typically very desirable in antique furniture auctions, but success may also depend on market trends at the time of sale.
- Authenticity. Authenticity is a major factor that determines the value of a piece of antique furniture. Authentic R.J. Horner pieces will have a plaque or paper label with the name “R.J. Horner & Co.” on it. If you know the piece’s provenance, meaning you have its documented history of ownership, you will be better able to establish its authenticity.
- Condition. Antique furniture that is “like new” will command the most value. This means furniture that has all its original upholstery and has been relatively unused is especially desirable. It must also be in good shape — free from scratches, tears and other blemishes.
R.J. Horner furniture valuation depends largely on the furniture’s condition and authenticity. While some online research may help you get an idea of what your R.J. Horner furniture is worth, the best way to receive an accurate valuation is to have it appraised by a specialist at an antique auction house such as Fontaine’s Auction Gallery.
R.J. Horner Furniture Consignment With Fontaine’s Auction Gallery
If you want to sell your R.J. Horner dining room set, grandfather clock or other type of furniture, consignment with Fontaine’s Auction Gallery is an exceptional choice. We have more than 50 years of experience working with antique buyers and sellers from all over the world, and we have extensive market knowledge that will help you get the most value for your items.
Antique consignors choose us for our:
- Global audience. Our live auctions are accessible to people around the globe, and we make bidding easy with in-person, phone, online and absentee bidding options so we can draw the largest audiences possible.
- One flat rate. Unlike other auction houses that charge numerous fees for transportation, insurance, photography and other services, we charge one flat rate with no hidden fees.
- Marketing. We begin advertising for our auctions weeks in advance of other major houses to reach as many people as possible and give them sufficient notice.
- Customer service. Our specialists walk you through each step of the process, from your R.J. Horner furniture appraisal to consignment and sale. We assist you however we can, including services such as transporting your antique furniture items safely to our gallery upon consignment.
We also offer free evaluations done by our specialists who have expert knowledge of antique R.J. Horner furniture. You can schedule an in-person evaluation, email us information and photos, or complete our auction estimate form to receive your appraisal.
If you have any questions about your R.J. Horner furniture or would like more information about our consignment services, contact us today and we will be happy to help.