City of London Livery Companies Commission. Report; Volume 1. Originally published by Eyre and Spottiswoode, London, 1884.
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Statement of the Points to which the Deputation of the Horners' Company of London desire to refer on their attendance before the London Livery Companies Commission on the 2nd of May 1883.
Referring to Return F., sent in by the Horners' Company to your Commissioners, in which it was stated that the income of the Company had been almost stationary during the last ten years, but, in consequence of the sale of the Company's property, the regular income would be increased by it to the amount of 33l. or thereabouts; and to Return M., which states that the small income of the Company had prevented them from doing anything to subsidise or encourage general or technical education, but they were in hopes, as their income increased, that they would be enabled to take steps for encouraging the manufacture of horns; the Company, acting on this desire, held, on the 18th, 19th, and 20th of October 1882, with the permission of the Lord Mayor, an Exhibition of articles, ancient and modern, British and Foreign, made of horn, or of which horn is a component part, at the Mansion House, London. Prizes were offered to exhibitors, being members of the trade. Due notice was given of the Exhibition through the medium of the public papers and the circulation of a prospectus, the result of which was that considerable interest was evinced, not only by the trade, but by private owners of articles both ancient and modern, and a collection of works of art of a very interesting and instructive nature was obtained by great efforts, and the Exhibition attracted so much public interest that, with the permission of the Lord Mayor, it was allowed to continue open for an extra day (Saturday), and during the four days about 7,000 persons visited the rooms.
Among the trade exhibitors were Messrs. S. R. Stewart and Co., of Aberdeen, whose comb works are the largest in Europe. They took a very considerable personal interest in the Exhibition, and sent a very large case of varied objects. Mr. David Stewart, a member of that firm, has, in consequence of the Exhibition, joined the Horners' Company, and has been admitted on the livery. He undertook the office of judge, and his firm did not therefore compete for prizes.
Messrs. J. F. Kain and Son, of 1 and 2, Fleur-de-Lys Street, Norton Folgate, London, workers in horn and ivory, took the first prize in Class 1. One of their members has also joined the Company, and has been admitted on the Livery.
Among the exhibitors from private collectors were many articles of high archæological interest; several members of the Society of Antiquaries and other archæological societies having sent articles from their private collections. This portion of the Exhibition excited a great deal of interest, particularly among antiquarians, and so valuable were the articles entrusted to the Company that it was considered advisable to revise the catalogue after the Exhibition had closed, to make a permanent record of the Exhibition. A revised copy of this catalogue accompanies this Statement.
Among the exhibitors, Her Majesty was graciously pleased to send from her Windsor collection a very interesting collection, after the return of which it was resolved by the Court of the Company to apply, through the Secretary of Her Majesty's Privy Purse, to be allowed to present her with a copy of the catalogue and a history of the Company, which has been written by one of the members of the Court, bound in horn, in acknowledgment of Her Majesty's gracious condescension in lending her articles for exhibition; and it was also considered a favourable opportunity of illustrating the applicability of horn for the purposes of book-binding. Her Majesty accepted this proposal, and the Company, in furtherance of their desire to promote technical education, offered a prize for the best design for the purpose to the National Art Training School, South Kensington; the result of which has been that a very beautiful design has been chosen from a number of competitors, and is now in the hands of Messrs. S. R. Stewart and Co., to be executed in horn work, and, when completed, it will be presented to Her Majesty.
Owing to the novelty of the Exhibition, and its being entirely of a tentative character, the Company undertook the whole expense, which has prevented them from taking further action this year in promoting the interests of the trade, but the experience which they have had from the result of the Exhibition has satisfied them that much good has been done in stimulating and developing the trade, and that further efforts in the same direction, which they hope to make, will, it is anticipated, be of material and valuable assistance.