Horn of Plenty

Van Day Truex’s first home in Provence, House & Garden, March, 1984.

I almost titled this post “Horny,” but was afraid of the sort of folk it might deliver to my door. I’ve been relying on the vintage a bit too much this week, but Mr. Blandings is having a bit of a Mrs. Blandings birthday by which I mean more of a birthweek. Or a birthmonth. So here we are again. I guess I should have sold this as part of my grand plan, an execution in continuity. Only it’s not. Just a bit of by-the-seat-of-my-pants inspiration.

Chateau de Menetou-Salon, Architectural Digest, March, 1980.
There are design elements that do repeat and are not so tired and one of these is horns. I have a set of antlers that Mr. Blandings lovingly delivered to me when we were first married. You might think I received them as a cat-owner receives the love-token carcass, but I actually like them. They feel wonderful. Smooth and silky. And in their bony purity, sculptural.

Steven Gambrel, his own home, House & Garden.
In addition, unless you happen to stumbled upon a rhinoceros horn, they usually come in pairs. Appeal times two.

There’s a bit of a jump here, so pay attention. There is a toy store in Brookside, our neighborhood shopping center, called Brookside Toy and Science. It is a gift that my boys are growing up in walking distance of a whole line of shops owned by independent store-owners. It’s great fun to kill an afternoon at Reading Reptile and getting ice cream or popcorn and going to the toy store.


So while they bee-line to the Legos and cars, I head to the back where the “science” lives.” All types of funky taxidermy, stones, skeletons, mounted butterflies and beetles. And two giant carved tusks.


Un-uh. Didn’t ask. No idea how these came to be here. Originally marked at $250,000 they are reduced to 99% off – $2,500 – for the pair. A furrowed brow came up over the counter as I snapped the shot. I just smiled. Just killing a little time in the ‘hood checking out the quarter of a million dollar tusks. I’m just saying, you have to keep your eyes open. You never know where something interesting is going to turn up.

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17 thoughts on “Horn of Plenty

  1. Meg – even at the greatly reduced price, there is not quite the right spot in the dream house. I bet there is someone out there right now on the hunt for just this thing and they have no idea it’s on display at BT&S.

  2. I’ve got a few horns around my house that I do like, but that’s the limit! No more or it might look creepy or something!!! And re: the ceiling, I’ve always called it a vaulted ceiling, but that might not be correct.

  3. Again, I love how you weave your family into your art and design adventures.

    And I also enjoy living within walking distance of kid-friendly stores 🙂

  4. the toy store of my youth.

    there used to be a crabby old lady with a white beehive who worked there through the 70s and 80s.

    do they still wrap all of the gifts in red striped paper with red curling ribbon?

    kansas city birthday parties were never without the requisite pile of these packages.

  5. P – new tusk is illegal – thanks for stopping by. I love your shop – I was actually back there looking for the bat skelaton in lucite that I have had my eye on. Gone! I’ll keep checking. Lots of birthday presents still to be acquired.

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