Wednesday, June 13, 2007


June 11, 2007

Melbourne, FL
Sale July 28-29

A collection of works by R. J. Horner featuring full bodied winged griffins from a Miami estate will highlight the July 28-29 sale at Matheson’s AA Auction in Melbourne, FL.

Matheson’s AA Auction owners Lloyd and Jan Matheson have assembled 900 lots of furniture, art, antiques and pre-Columbian artifacts for another of their two day, free wheeling sales that have attracted national and international attention recently. Items from five major estates have been consigned to Matheson’s by the heirs and there will be no additions.

The focal point of the sale will be a collection of eight pieces of furniture and accessories made by R. J. Horner & Company of New York. After working as a clerk in a lace business Robert. J. Horner opened his own curtain and lace shop and then opened a retail furniture outlet in 1886. He soon began making his own furniture to sell and specialized in the Aesthetic Movement. Following that he turned out many heavily carved pieces in oak and mahogany that utilized classical figures such as caryatids and the mythological creature the winged griffin as a primary element. His full bodied griffin images are legendary and this collection has its share as well as other Horner trademarks.

Four of the pieces display griffins. Three desks use full bodied griffins as columnar supports. Two outstanding elaborately carved mahogany partner’s desks have a full bodied figure at each corner supporting the top and a heavily carved slant lid desk with a secret drawer uses two griffins as front posts. A 54in wide console table with two drawers also supports the top on the creatures. A triple door mahogany bow front bookcase with a heavily carved frieze panel above the doors has full bodied male figures in high relief on each column supporting the top of the cabinet. A 92in tall Horner mirror doesn’t have griffins but it does have a demonic head with horns in the heavily carved crest while two 36in high mahogany fern stands demonstrate Horner’s classical figure ability in a male and female figure.

A large collection of pre-Columbian artifacts, mostly vessels and figures, will be offered. There is large selection of Chancay, Peru terracotta figures from the 12th century including several "cuchimilco" style figures with extended arms and a Zacateca terracotta couple from Zacatecas, West Pacific 250-550AD, 14½in tall and number of terracotta figures from the Mochica, Peru area circa 250-500AD among many others.

Other lots include a very unusual American rosewood double quilting settee from the Rococo period accompanied by its built in large pincushion and a corner rosewood storage box as well as a Biedermeier desk in Circassian walnut veneer and an early 19th century walnut German kas, 92 H by 76in W, with an elaborately inlaid inner panel in the door.

The fine art section of the sale will feature an oil on canvas by Dutch artist Jacobus de Jong (1866-1920), 16 by 12½in, an Audubon elephant folio print of "Barnacle Goose", 24 by 36in and a watercolor on paper laid down on cardboard bearing the monogram "1/1" from 1948 of Charles Burchfield ( American 1893-1967), 9 by 15in, as well as works by Russian-American artist Nicolai Cikovsky (1894-1934), Fernando de Szyszlo, Peruvian artist (b.1925) and George Rouault, French (1871-1958).

The sale begins at 11:00AM Saturday July 28 and continues at 12:00 PM Sunday July 29. Preview will be Friday July 27 from 11:00AM to 6:00PM and two hours before the start of the sale on both days. Matheson’s AA Auction is located at 600 E. New Haven Avenue in Melbourne, FL 32901. Seating for 180 can be reserved by phone, (321) 768-6668 or by email at Selected portions of the catalog are available for viewing on the Matheson’s AA Auction website at

The auction will be called by 33 year veteran auctioneer and auction co-owner Lloyd J. Matheson, Jr. Phone and absentee bids are welcomed. For more information call auction owners Lloyd or Jan Matheson or Auction Manager Carrie Lucas (321) 768-6668.

written by:
Fred & Gail Taylor

SALE OF July 28-29, 2007

Griffins – This mahogany partners desk has full bodied winged griffins at each corner.

Couple – Terracotta couple, 14½in high, from Zactecas, West Pacific, 250-550 AD.

Bookcase – A triple door bookcase with full bodied figural columns by R. J. Horner, 85in wide by 67in high.

Buddha – Large Thai limestone standing Buddha, 7th century, Mon style, 31½in high.

Slant front – Profusely carved Horner slant lid desk with winged griffins and secret drawer, 45½in high by 42in wide.

Tapestry – 17th century Flemish tapestry, 7 by 12ft.