Charles Horner jeweller is one of the great names to look out for by those interested in arts movements jewellery. They made pieces in art nouveau, arts and crafts and art deco style and are now very very collectable.
Charles Horner started his jewellery business in the 1850s in Yorkshire. He died in the 1890s and it was his sons who developed the Charles Horner business which produced the vast majority of the pieces we see today.
Availability of Charles Horner Jeweller
The most collectable pieces of Charles Horner pieces of jewellery we see today are from the arts movements: Art Nouveau, Arts and Crafts and Art Deco Jewellery. The jewellery they created had great design and bright colours produced at a prices which could be afforded by the middle classes rather than high end. The pieces were produced during the same era as Liberty, Faberge and Lalique were producing their famous jewels but the pieces produced in Yorkshire were more mass produced than individually hand crafted. This means that a much greater quantity of their jewellery is still available for us to buy today and at a price that many of us can afford.
As well as producing highly decorative pieces the Horner factory made a huge range. In the early 1900s there were lots of silver and enamel brooches, pendant necklaces and hatpins in bright blue and green peacock colours or set with glass paste stones in citrine and amethyst colours. The brooch to the left shows the influences of the arts and crafts movement with the decorative silver border. Thimbles were alway an important part of their product range and they were responsible for the trade name Dorcas. Have you seen the price of these? Some Charles Horner thimbles can reach up to £100 on eBay these days .
Buttons and cufflinks in brightly enamelled colours were made in their thousands in the earlier 1900s. As time went on Charles Horner expanded their range to include plastics brooches in shapes of animals and people, these are often quite deco in style. The products became plainer with less enamel but still very attractive. Ive seen some lovely silver bangles from the 1930s and 40s through to the 1960s. Other small silver products included buckles, napkin rings, baby rattles, badges and small table wear such as milk jugs.
Much Charles Horner silver and gold was hallmarked in Chester. Whenever I see a Chester hallmark I check the makers mark hoping its a Charles Horner piece. In the early 1900s you will find a full Chester silver hallmark along with the initials CH as you see in the picture to the left.
Find out more
If you are interested in finding out more about Charles Horner jeweller there is a good book available : Charles Horner of Halifax by Tom J Lawson , ISBN 0954235401 . Its not cheap but has been around a few years now so it may be possible to find a second hand copy. The book is full of pictures which illustrate the wide range of products.