True Stuff: Friedrich’s Horn Furniture

Apropos to my recent post about The Grizzly-Bear Chair, reader Jessie B. wrote in to share this Horn Chair from the collection of the Baltimore Museum of Art. It’s attributed to Wenzel Friedrich, one of the great longhorn furniture makers of the nineteenth century.

Friedrich was born in Bohemia, but moved to San Antonio and became a cabinetmaker. Between 1880 and 1890 he created chairs, hatracks, tables and more out of horns. This Longhorn Museum site describes a Friedrich chair featuring a “horn-veneered seat frame, inlaid ivory star, back seat cushion, with cat hide covering”:

More info on Friedrich here. And the Internet Archive has preserved a delightful engraved catalog of his pieces from 1890 (click for bigger):

No. 11. OFFICE CHAIR.

This chair is very useful and comfortable, contains 24 horns, cane seat, walnut frame, with best tilting iron, price $60.00.

Any style chair made into office chair, additional cost $10.00.

Awarded first premium at Southern Exposition, Louisville, Ky., 1886, for Best Horn Furniture.

No. 13. FANCY HORN VENEERED SOFA.

Contains 42 horns, guaranteed strong and comfortable, will make cushion backs if preferred. Upholstered in jaguar skin, price $200.00; in silk plush, price $175.00. Sofa, without horn veneered frame, upholstered with fox and catamount skin like No.2 chair, price $150.00; in silk plush, with fringe, same price. [Note: The points of the horns in this sofa have been tipped with acorns.]

No. 14. IMPROVED HAT RACK.

The style and general outline of this Hat Rack will impress you at once with their striking originality and pleasing effect. It contains 36 horns; all frame work is horn veneered, has best French plate mirrors, beveled edges, also a drawer. The cane receiver is silver plated metal, price $275.00.

Awarded First Premium at International Exposition, San Antonio, Texas, 1888, for Artistic Horn Furniture.

Browse the entire catalog here!

AMERICA: Where immigrants can show up, work hard, and make a career out of the creation of horn furniture. I bet the Statue of Liberty would shed a proud tear if she could.