Fossil teeth from an ancient mammoth shark. A unicorn’s horn in ivory. A 16th C. KunstKammer a Cabinet of Curiosities, Renaissance status symbols. Unusual and fascinating historical objects from the Americas, Asia, India. Silk Route caravans bring treasures from China. Galleons returning with riches from the Spice Islands, Japan and the Pacific. Year long voyages on horseback, camel or elephants… Sailing the seven seas...
Wood propellers like a century ago. British mail boxes from a mail steamer. Models of library steps from the Bibliothèque National’s reading room. Finding a home on your book shelf. Grand Hotel coat hangers and leather key fobs. Geometric sculptures in noble metals and precious wood. Wood and brass shotgun shell models as a penstand. Lewis&Clark spyglasses. Bounty’s captain Bligh’s lifeboat compass. Jot down your interests and art on our ArtNotes, uniquely designed. Used as message, greeting, thank-you or simply note-card. Record these moments rare and precious.
We invite you to browse our website. Search storied objects, stay in touch with a fascinating past.
Tour d’Horizon Haring Piebenga - Founder
During the late Renaissance, when the American continent was being colonized, galleons sailed around Cape Hope to India, Cathay and South East Asia. Australia was about to be found and named New Holland. That’s when royalty and upper class collected curiosities. In German named KunstKammers, in French Cabinets de Curiosités. Exotic shells, hides, porcelain, arms, a globe, scientific models.
The pride of their owners, shells with some worth their weight in silver, spices in gold... Fascinating lore, the custom continues in our time. A small cabinet, memories from trips abroad, a compass to keep course, a flute from an Amazon tribe, a wood boomerang with a MOMA shape.
La Belle Époque ushered in an exciting era. Railways and ocean steamers crossed continents and oceans. Flight started with delivering mail, soon evolving into carrying passengers to far away destinations, Cairo, Rangoon, Peking and Tahiti. The world is my oyster…. At Tour d'Horizon we make exquisite mahogany coat hangers, just hanging a jacket or a dress offers that mini-moment of joy and satisfaction seeing a story and an object well made. Leather key fobs dating back to the age of the Grand Hôtels. Travel clocks, mini trunks and diplomatic mail pouches. Fun 1920’s train storied steps, reach that shelf, your daily calisthenics…. Your desk, your home away from home? A trusted space filled with statements, memories. The smell of hand stitched hide, trays holding pens, watches, coins, things you never use, that coin found in an Indian market, an antique Patek Philippe, a shotgun shell penstand, an ammo shell sharpshoot trophy, and not to forget our storied note cards, part to-do-list, haiku poetry, a love message, a mini postcard surprising and so different.
To show a glimpse, maybe a bit more than that, with objects on your desk. To some extent size is a factor here, but combining the practical with excellent taste is the main focus. Large or small… Beautifully finished wood, leather, brass? Combinations? Take the brass/ mahogany desktop shotgun shell, showing an interest. Beauty. Unusual. Than our aptly named valet trays. Mahogany, stitched leather, inside and out.
Hard to find craftsmanship. Practical too… Above all keep it uncluttered, only a few well chosen objects to show style and tell a story. Many choices, so little time!
At Tour d'Horizon we offer an eclectic collection of lifestyle elements. Some educational, some fun, and some practical like our Pullman train steps used for aerobics and to reach that pesky shelf… Leather kettle balls that please the eye and offer an elegant work-out. A festive table bell for the Holiday family dinner. Part of it is love, care and attention invested in creating quality and uniqueness. Brass, wood, leather, paper. All offer unexpected twists and turns to their stories. Some new, some known, all offering a different dimension, the pleasure of feeling polished wood, hand stitched hide, how a scroll on a spindle offers a unique story from the past. A Norman tapestry from 1066, an officer’s sketch of a Colonial Army in Bengal drawn in 1836. A beautifully illustrated fairy tale to read to a child at bedtime with fascinating ArtDeco art. An original writing set. A silver rocket Space Saver. Things that are meant to be...
My first memory is of walking a wooden dock to a sailboat. An indelible mind picture. Sailing, boats and water were always a major part of early exploration and discovery. Early instruments were handled with care and took a while to study their use. Octants to find latitude, hourglasses for longitude. Overland compasses to navigate forests and steppes. Our collection of vintage compasses ‘encompasses’ different models and materials. Some combined with sundials show the local time of day, or the hour to pray or just to be amazed that it actually works showing true local time… Plus spyglasses, nautical lamps, bosun whistles, knot work key hangers… even themed MyNotes !
The theme is temporary… Our ephemera come in the shape and form of 4 page pocket notes. To be used as messages, to-do lists, instant poetry, even mini greeting or thank-you cards with printed sleeves. These notes make an impact. It feels great to write down things to remember on such permanent art stock. Themes? Like MyNotes, in various formats ? Art themed Notes, Music Notes, Flag Notes, Food Notes…. Available with added sleeves to use for special occasions or thank-you's. Exquisitely packaged. Great gifts if you manage to part with them… So much more impact than email !
It too less than a century to go from the Wright Brothers fixed single wing contraption to supersonic aircraft and jumbo’s carrying millions around the world. At Tour d’Horizon we focus on 1930’s to mid century models, with a Concorde as the outlier. The DC3, also called the workhorse of the skies, and built by the thousands, was the workhorse of the skies. Dropping food and essentials to disaster areas. Flying troops, passengers, mail, horses and cars.
Our collection of plane models is unique and with the rise of hourly wagers they will soon be impossible to make. Do not wait if you want to have a vintage plane, from a large Ford Trimotor to a sleek Super Constellation, they are available now. Aluminum skin, built in frame. Incredible detail.
The first skyhook was found in a Dutch sailor’s bar. A stonethrow from moored windjammers. Serving to announce closing time, which might be anywhere from midnight to early sunrise. That skyhook carried the image of a pipe smoking Cape Horn deckhand. They soon became fol- art expressions, then turned into images of whales and Santa’s. After all this was late 19th century when whale oil lighted mansions and Santa and his Tree were first hustled across the Atlantic. Our in-house artists developed new fun Santa’s, Fishermen, Alice in Wonderland fun characters, and an array of others. Recommended!