This English beaker comprised of horn would have been used by the farm workers during the harvest months……..as they would have kept it in their pocket for a “tot of ale” from time to time! What a merry and happy crew! The vintage wooden plate, hand fashioned spoon, tallow berries, feathers and a preserved maple leaf are also included in this unique gathering just in time for autumn!
This beaker came all the way from England to make your acquaintance and the colors that mother nature provided are gorgeous! Horn beakers were also made in America as well.
What actually is a horn beaker? Here is some interesting information about this piece:
Horn Beakers are fashioned from cow and also antler horn and were used as a drinking cup for fermented drinks such as ale, mead and wine. They were made more pliable by the aid of being boiled in vinegar, straightened and then turned. The bottom plate was made from a separate piece of horn that was also boiled in vinegar and slit down the side. It was then flattened, turned and popped into a groove located in the bottom of the beaker. Beakers must never be soaked in water or they will swell and burst. This piece has not been made in quantities for about one hundred years.
A dark chocolate ground accented by rich caramels, buttermilk's, and deep cognacs grace the top of the beaker. These interesting color striations cascade downward lending plenty of detail to the overall look. I am sure this piece is one of a kind as each beaker that was fashioned from horn consists of a different pattern and color hue. The bottom of the beaker was added as a separate piece and boasts a circular ribbed pattern repeated thrice.
Another unique feature this piece possess is a whisper of a translucent appearance near the very top edge. Horn was also used very early on to cover windows in early settlers homes as well as applied to the outside of “lanthorns” to ensure the candle flame was safe from any breezes. This piece is in excellent condition without any cracks or chips to report. It has held its luster all these years and does not have a dry finish!
Care instructions for this beaker is as follows:
1) Avoid contact with strong solvents, detergents, and/or chemicals instead use water with a soft, damp cloth and dry immediately.
2) Horn can scratch so avoid sharp objects.
3) Avoid temperature swings as this can cause the horn to crack.
4) Keep out of extreme heat or cold conditions.
5) Do not use it for hot liquids.
I decided to add color to this piece and used a variety of feathers including a couple from a pheasant that came all the way from the Netherlands to tuck inside. The colors are very complimentary to the tones in the horn beaker and lend interest.
I was able to find a vintage wooden plate that is lightweight in nature and has a beautiful grain. This small plate has a footed bottom and there are tiny age cracks located in the grain present on the inside and bottom. The wood has a slight waxy feel and is smooth as silk! Very good condition without any chips to report!
Harry was able to craft a tiny wooden spoon from a tree branch that I incorporated in this unique gathering. The grain is visible and the end terminates at a 90 degree angle. It is smooth, has a shallow bowl and adorable!
I used two clusters of tallow berries and drew them up with hand spun chocolate brown wool to add a pop of color! I have been busy gathering maple leaves from our farm to preserve for autumn decorating and decided to incorporate this one by placing it on the plate. The colors could not be better thanks to all the rain we have had during the summer months!
This interesting gathering would be perfect on a small side table either in the bedroom or in your great room! It can even be set on a deep window sill or on top of a blanket chest as I did with a favored textile underneath. Enjoy!
Overall height for Beaker is 8” (including the feathers), 3” tall without the feathers, 2” across the top opening & 1 ¼” across the bottom. Feathers vary in size…. Tallest is 8” and the shortest is 4 ¾”. Wooden plate measures 6 3/8” across (right to left), foot on the bottom measures 3 ½” and stands ¾” tall. Wee spoon measures 3” long and the bowl measures ½” across by 1” (end of spoon to the where it meets the handle. Tallow Berries measure 4” (including the stem) and are 1 ½” @ the widest point. Maple leaf measures 3” across by 5” tall (including the stem), 2 ½” without the stem.