The Buckhorn, Wenzel
Billie Keilman's Horn Palace
The Buckhorn Saloon was founded in 1881
by Albert Friedrich, son of cabinet maker and famed horn furniture maker, Wenzel
Friedrich, who, beginning in 1880 made among the most beautiful horn furniture. The
Buckhorn was located on Dolorosa Street in San Antonio. Albert was very fond of deer
antlers and cattle horns, which he used to decorate his saloon. As word of this got
around, he began offering to trade a drink for horn or antler specimens. The collection
grew, and over the years it became larger and larger -- and so did the Buckhorn's
reputation. It became a San Antonio landmark and was known around the world. In its
heyday, it was the largest horn collection in America.
During the same time,
another massive collection of horns and mounted specimens was being gathered by
saloon-keeper Billie Keilman who displayed them in his Horn Palace in San Antonio,
beginning in 1912, an establishment well-known for its chicken dinners, music and
nightlife. Billie claimed to have the largest horn collection in the world with over 5000
specimens from many countries. The Horn Palace was sold to the Buckhorn in 1921, which
then made it the undisputed horn king of San Antonio. What remains of the Buckhorn's
collection may be seen today in San Antonio.
IMPORTANT: There is
much confusion about chairs made by Wenzel Friedrich. Read this link (CLICK HERE) before you buy or sell to compare his work with
that of William Mittmann, Charles Puppe and the Appel Bros., all of whom are Texas makers.
Mounted horns were sold from the
Buckhorn Curio Shop in San Antonio.
These steer horns, once in the Buckhorn collection, are a better grade example of twist
and curl, common to early Texas cattle.
A classic Wenzel Friedrich horn chair.
|Wenzel Friedrich, maker.
San Antonio, Texas.
Two chairs of the 1880's.
Acorn finials of horn.
Tiffany glass ball casters.
Materials offered on Friedrich chairs include:
* a silk plush (velvet)
* buggy seat leather, angora goat, jaguar, catamount and fox,
* and a cane and walnut seat on his office chair model.
The Tiffany glass ball casters
were also used by Charles Puppe and William Mittmann, horn furniture makers of the 1880's
in San Antonio. Mittmann also fitted the tips of his horns with acorn finials.
By 1884, Friedrich was having
trouble finding in his own area the size and shape of horns he wanted for his furniture
and began seeking a supply from Old Mexico.
To see Texas-made
chairs by Charles Puppe, William Mittmann, the Appel Bros. and chairs from the Horn Palace
click here and compare them to Wenzel
Among the most beautiful of all horn chairs ever
made. Friedrich offered this platform rocker, with horn-veneered seat frame, inlaid ivory
star, and two cushions in cat hide. Sold new in 1889 for $80.
No. 9 Chair from Catalog of 1890
Among the rarest of all
Friedrich chairs. Having the glass ball casters, veneered seat frame, two back cushions,
and acorn finials.
As of May 2015, this is the only known example of this style of Friedrich chair. Seen here
on display at the Boot Hill Museum in Dodge City, Kansas.
A Buckhorn child's rocking
chair made from wood and horn.
Fancy horn rocking chair from Billie Keilman's Horn Palace.
CLOCKS and INKWELLS
In 1920, Prohibition became
law and the Buckhorn Saloon could no longer sell liquor. Albert Friedrich changed the
Buckhorn Saloon to the Buckhorn Curio Store and Museum. It became a major tourist
attraction. Dozens of items were offered for sale. Among them were hoof and horn clocks,
similar to those seen below. Some clocks sold at the Buckhorn were made with cattle,
buffalo, and sheep horns, and combinations thereof. One variety of clock sold at the
Buckhorn featured a bull figurine on top. Another variety, outfitted with buffalo horns,
included a metal buffalo figurine on its top. Our best information to date causes us to
believe these types of clocks were made at an outside source, and purchased by and sold at
the Buckhorn. Other businesses besides the Buckhorn may have sold clocks like these.
Uncommon sheep horn clock in its original buggy seat
Trimmed in buggy seat material, fancy nickel corners and
Largest known of the hoof and horn clocks. Made from a
previously manufactured mantle clock with 8-day movement, with pleasing chimes. This model
is fitted with sheep and cattle horns and hooves. Covered in a velvet-type fabric.
The Buckhorn's popular clock with bull
figurine. The earliest known "bull" clock at the Buckhorn appears in a 1909
Cattle horns and hoofs. A
wind-up clock and twin inkwells.
Sometime in the 1920's.
A cattle and sheep horn
clock on the counter.
KEILMAN'S HORN PALACE
A San Antonio landmark from 1912-1921, having over 5000
Read about Billie Keilman CLICK HERE
Read about the Buckhorn and the Horn Palace,
Friedrich, Albert Friedrich and Billie Keilman by clicking here.
View more horn
chairs, hatracks and tables by clicking on these links!
Compare Chairs by Puppe, Friedrich, Mittmann &
the Appel Bros.