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Subject: Source for horn

Source for horn

From: Mark Vine <100436.3447>
Date: Saturday, February 28, 1998
Some of you may recall my enquiry in an early issue on the
availability of very thin horn for a major restoration project
involving boulle marquetry and the need of the restoration team to
locate a supply of transparence horn to complete their work.

I was contacted by Russ Young, Secretary-Editor of the Honourable
Company of Horners who very kindly came to the rescue providing the
head of the restoration team concerned with a supply of transparent

With Russ Young's permission I am including background information
which you may find particularly interesting, particularly given the
direct contact a number of you made with me after the subject was
first aired on the DistList.

   "The Honourable Company of Horners has a little over 100 members,
    about twenty make their living entirely from horn work and about
    sixty others are moderately to very advanced workers who make a
    partial income from it. The remainder are historians,
    collectors, archaeologists and beginners.

    Horn work is easily divided into three types: pressed, turned,
    natural. Pressed work uses heat to flatten horn into sheets
    (lanthornes, buttons, eye glasses, horn books, etc.). Turned
    work is done on a lathe (usually a spring-pole) and creates ink
    wells, cups, snap-cap boxes, powder measures, rings, etc.
    Natural implies the use of the existing shape of the horn, far
    and away the major group is for powder horn, then drinking
    horns, scoops, scythe sharpening stone holder, blowing horn,

    Maybe six or eight of our guild make pressed work,which includes
    combs. Most of those same folks also do turn work and three or
    four others do *only* turn work (you should see the 5 piece
    paper thin ink wells!), which in my humble opinion is the most
    difficult branch of the art.

    Not all bovine horn is suitable for any craftsman product. Some
    is brittle, others riddled with flaws, some colours are NEVER in
    demand, etc. Fewer and fewer cattle have horns and most are
    slaughtered well before the optimum age for horn development.
    The major problem for our guild is obtaining a continuing supply
    of good horn. Our most productive members use several *tons* of
    horn each per annum..."

Anyone wishing to make direct contact can do so
by contacting

    Russ Young, Secretary-Editor,
    Honourable Company of Horners
    42 Camino Tetzcoco
    Sante Fe, New Mexico 87505

Finally my thanks to Jonathan Farley, Christoph Waller and Lisa
Mibach for providing additional data which the restoration team in
London found very helpful.

Mark Vine
Conservation Resources (UK) Ltd
+44 1865 747035

                  Conservation DistList Instance 11:74
                   Distributed: Friday, March 6, 1998
                       Message Id: cdl-11-74-010
Received on Saturday, 28 February, 1998

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