Victorian Refinement - VII


Victorian English Sterling Silver Engraved Cufflinks by Charles Horner (LEO Design)


Queen Victoria reigned from 1837 to 1901—an era well-represented in our collection of handsome cufflinks.  For the rest of the month, we'll be sharing some of these Victorian cufflinks offerings, many of them recently acquired.  Click here to see all of the cufflinks at LEO Design.

The English jeweler, Charles Horner, founded his namesake company in West Yorkshire in the 1860's.  Although he made a large range of jewelry, the company is best known for its sterling silver Arts & Crafts hatpins, necklaces and brooches, which are usually enameled.  Charles died in 1896 after which his sons opened a new workshop and expanded the product line to include other silver objects including clocks, silverware and various table service items.  Most of Charles Horner's sterling was taken to the assay office in Chester for official hallmarking.

After WWI, the company began producing items with the new plastic material "casein" (under the trade name "Dorcasine").  Even later, during Britain's "lean years," Charles Horner made hammered Arts & Crafts cufflinks with their silver-like "Stay-Brite" material—a less costly metal which remained shiny without polishing.  (Please click here and here to see examples of hammered Stay-Brite cufflinks.)

The cufflinks above, like most of Charles Horner's sterling silver pieces, were hallmarked in the historic town of Chester.  The mark dates them to 1896—the very year Charles Horner died.  Half of each oval face is engraved with a scrolling botanical decoration.  The other half is reserved for elegant monograming of the letters D. A. C. (Or is it C. A. D.?  Or A. D. C.?  Or D. C. A.?  Or A. C. D.?  Or C. D. A.?)   Click on the photo above to learn more about them.


Though our Greenwich Village store is now permanently closed, LEO Design is still alive and well!  Please visit our on-line store where we continue to sell Handsome Gifts (

We also can be found in Pittsburgh's historic "Strip District" at Mahla & Co. Antiques ( or in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania at The Antique Center of Strabane (

Or call to arrange to visit our Pittsburgh showroom (by private appointment only).  917-446-4248