Archive for Sunday, May 13, 2012

Kovel’s Antiques: Once popular, few ‘rustic’ horn chairs made today

May 13, 2012


Furniture has been made from carved and joined pieces of wood for centuries, but in every century there are a few designers who are intrigued by the forms of nature and use them to create furniture.

Chairs made of curved horns are one of these furniture forms. During the 19th century, horn chairs were made in many countries, perhaps because curved cow horns or strangely shaped antlers reminded some furniture makers of the curved and carved furniture popular during Victorian times.

In the United States, most of these chairs were made in the Western states. It was possible to buy quantities of Texas longhorn horns at slaughterhouses in meat-packing cities. The horns were joined together to make a back, arms, legs and part of the upholstered seat.

It took at least 12 horns to assemble a simple chair and almost 30 for a complicated chair. The horns had to be polished by hand. In other locations, furniture makers used antlers from local antelope, moose or elk.

The chairs made in the West were large, Victorian in style and composed of many horns. Horn chairs from Europe, particularly Germany, were made to resemble traditional 19th-century chairs and included light-colored antlers with protruding points. Seats were upholstered with leather.

All horn chairs are now described as “in the rustic taste.” There are a few firms making horn chairs today.

I have several pieces of “old Lenox” china. Some are marked with a blue Lenox “L-in-wreath” logo, others with a brown or green logo. Did the company use marks of different colors during different years?

Walter Scott Lenox took control of the Ceramic Art Co. of Trenton, N.J., in the mid 1890s and changed the company’s name to Lenox, Inc., in 1906. That’s the year Lenox started using the L-in-wreath mark.

Between 1906 and 1930, Lenox usually used a green wreath mark. But during the same time period, unfortunately, it also used wreath marks that were blue, red, black or gold.

The gold wreath became Lenox’s standard mark in the early 1950s.

I still have the first and second Kovels’ “Complete Antique Price List.” Do they have any collectible value?

We would love to say “yes.” Our first two annual price guides were published in 1968 and 1969, and we think they’re classics.

But while they provide a fascinating look at the antiques and collectibles marketplace of 40 years ago, used copies aren’t selling for more than about $8 apiece.

I own close to 900 vinyl jazz records from the 1950s through the 1980s. Where can I sell them? The artists include Stan Kenton, Stan Getz, Count Basie, Phil Woods, Charlie Parker, Dave Brubeck and Paul Desmond. Many of the records have never been released on CD.

Vinyl records are tricky to sell. Most sell for very little. But some records, including some jazz records, sell for a lot.

Do some research before you try selling. Visit a vintage record shop in your area and talk to the owner or knowledgeable salespeople.

You also can consult collectors via the International Association of Jazz Record Collectors,, which publishes a journal for collectors. Another publication for record collectors is Goldmine (

Do some comparison shopping online, then contact stores and collectors in your area or online.


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