10th September 2013
Charles Horner (1837-1896) was a Halifax business man who built a jewellery empire. Initially the company supplied local retailers but by the 1870s Horner was selling directly to the public. After Charles Horner’s death, his sons opened a large factory and ceased retail trading.
The company was hugely successful producing high quality, mass-produced hallmarked silver and enamelled jewellery that appeared hand-crafted. In this respect, Horner was following William Morris’ lead.
Charles Horner revolutionised the manufacture of thimbles with its reinforced Dorcas brand which sold millions and are now highly collectable. The company supplied customers around the world with thimbles, jewellery and silverware but sadly closed in the 1980s.
The Antiques Roadshow recently featured a collection of Charles Horner hatpins which are very popular with collectors. The Bankfield Museum in Halifax has a lovely collection of Charles Horner jewellery including enamelled Arts & Crafts and Art Nouveau hatpins.