British jeweler Charles Horner (1837 – 1896) was known for his exquisite (and expensive) Art Nouveau enameled jewelry from the Late Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries. His sons carried-on with the business after Charles’s death and the company branched into other products like silverware, table ware and clocks. But jewelry and wearable accessories were always at the fore. After the two World Wars, the English economy was in shambles and luxury items—such as Charles Horner had purveyed—were outside the grasp of most middle-class Englishmen. To offer quality and style at an affordable price, Charles Horner developed several new materials: casein plastics (which they called “Dorcasine”) and new, non-precious metals, like the “StayBrite” cufflinks, shown above. StayBrite cufflinks offered a rich, hand-hammered look at a much lower price than sterling silver. And they retained their silvery shine with minimal maintenance.
Over the years, I’ve sold many of the fancier Charles Horner pieces—some cufflinks but mostly women’s pendants and brooches. Please click on the photo above to learn more about them.
More newly-acquired vintage cufflinks tomorrow.
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