Like several others have already mentioned here, I had a great time at the RWA conference in San Antonio last month. But I made it even more fun by tagging a family vacation on the front end. Hubby and I, along with three of our kids and our son-in-law, arrived in the city the Saturday before the conference and spent three days seeing as much of what San Antonio.
We visited a lot of cool places and I posted pictures of some of them on my facebook page if you’re interested in checking them out.
But the one I want to talk to you about today is the Buckhorn Museum. We arrived around 12:30 so we went to the restaurant area first to grab a bite to eat. And that’s when I discovered where the place got it’s name. There were horns and antlers displayed everywhere, and I do mean everywhere. I’ve never seen so many in my life. Then, when we went into the museum itself we found numerous displays of furniture that used horns as part of the construction. Curious, I took a number of photographs and then did a bit of research on the subject when I got home.
It seems that most of the furniture pieces were constructed by a gentleman by the name of Wenzel Friedrich. Mr. Friedrich was born in Bohemia in 1827. By 1853 he had made his way to Texas and settled in San Antonio.. A year later he married one Agnes Urbanek and together they had seven children. Their youngest son, Albert Friedrich, is the man who would one day found the Buckhorn.
Wenzel had several jobs after he traveled to Texas but eventually resumed his work as a cabinet maker, something he’d received some training in in his home country. By 1880 he had his own business and was listed in the city directory as a manufacturer of horn furniture. I couldn’t find anything that explained WHY he started making horn furniture, but apparently he was quite good at it. He received gold medals for his craftsmanship in a number of shows, including the Cincinnati Industrial Exposition of 1883, the New Orleans Industrial and Cotton Centennial Exposition of 1884-85 and the Southern Exposition of Louisville, Kentucky in 1886. And his furniture was prized overseas as well, making its way into the hands of such dignitaries as Queen Victoria, Kaiser Wilhelm I and Otto von Bismarck.
Wenzel passed away in 1902, but his furniture endures. Today you can find examples in museums throughout the USA.
Below are some of the pictures I took of this unusual furniture.
So what do you think? Do you like the look of these? Would you like to have pieces like this in your own home?