Bubalus Bubalis: Cubitts Horn
Spectacle frames have been made from horn for centuries, and it was the material of choice long before cellulose acetate ever came into existence.
This natural material was an obvious choice for the spectacle makers of yore, thanks to its incomparable lightness, extreme durability, and its hypoallergenic properties, which make it particularly popular with those allergic to metals. It’s believed that optical devices made from animal horn (and more commonly, and cost-effectively, animal bones) were made and worn in London as early as the 1400s.
While this traditional material is prized for its durability, it takes some tender love and care to keep a horn frame in pristine condition. Every pair of Cubitts Horn spectacles comes with a complimentary tub of Horn Ointment, which must be applied to the frame once every three months to keep it healthy (after all, horn is composed of keratin, and needs to be conditioned to keep its exterior glossy, much like a fine mane of hair).
Cubitts Horn is sustainably sourced and is a natural by-product of domesticated herds of water buffalo, which are bred outdoors in India. We source our horn in small batches, and craft the frames by hand in our King’s Cross workshop.
Each piece of horn is hand-selected, turned, shaped, and polished, and is completely individual, with its own unique patterns and markings.