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Call Rick Sheets, Journeyman Horner, at 919-321-8349.

Museum Quality Replica Hornbooks for the Historian, Educator and Decorator

What is a Hornbook? About my Hornbooks:

Campion-Hornbook2The hornbook originated in Europe during the Middle Ages. They were completely handmade with the text done in calligraphy.

When Gutenberg invented the printing press in 1450 the resulting press printed papers made the hornbook available to many in Europe. Hornbooks were used in Colonial America as well.

The hornbook was used to teach reading to children for well over 300 years. A child was not trusted with an expensive book, but would start out with this primer of a single sheet of press-printed paper usually containing the Lord’s Prayer.

This sheet was pasted on a wooden paddle then covered with a pane of horn that was flattened and thinned to the point of being very translucent. A mica pane was also used instead of horn on some hornbooks. The purpose of the horn covering was to protect the printed text from little hands.

Around 1800, the hornbook fell out of use in favor of the battledore, which was a cheaply printed lesson on thin cardboard.

  • Antique Look
    Every reproduction hornbook is handmade and very imperfect as were the originals. These hornbooks are made in an antique style with bumps and scratches. The applied patina makes these hornbooks look antique.
  • Covering
    Real translucent cow horn covers the printed text. Some original hornbooks used mica and not horn for the covering (pane).  Both types of coverings are offered. Horn is more expensive as it requires a lot of hand work to make it.
  • Metal Parts
    Hand filed Flemish tacks hold on brass the strips (called lattens).
  • Optional Strap
    A hand woven strap made on a 18th Century style box loom is offered with the hornbook of your choice.
Availability:
  • Usually a hornbook is made to order. It takes about two weeks to get it to you. Sometimes I will have one on hand.
  • Each hornbook is unique. You will get photos (front and back) of your hornbook for your approval prior to shipment.
  • A PayPal invoice can be sent to you or you can send a check for payment. Call me and we will figure it out.
Payment:
  • PayPal is preferred, but a check is okay too.
  • Call (919) 321-8349 and we will figure out how to make payment.
Hornbook, Mica Pane
$94.00 plus $6 postage to USA
Hornbook, Real Horn Pane
$196.00 plus $6 postage to USA
Strap
Add $10.00
Hornbook Type A

Type A – With Cross.
Available with horn or mica.

Appropriate for 1722 through 1800 in the American Colonies or Britain. A Puritan would never have used a hornbook with a Cross on it. 8 1/2 inches tall including the handle. 4 inches wide at widest point.

Hornbook Type B

Type B – Without Cross
Available with horn or mica.

Appropriate for 1722-1800 Britain. Some would have made it to the American Colonies as well. Embellished with the thistle and the harp (symbols of Scotland & Ireland). 8 1/2 inches tall including the handle. 3 5/8 inches wide at widest point.