Osborn, John (DNB00)

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OSBORN, JOHN (1584?–1634?), worker in pressed horn and whalebone, was born in Worcestershire about 1584, where he appears to have been engaged in making cases, sheaths, or small boxes in horn and other material. About 1600 he emigrated to Holland, possibly for reasons of religion, settling at Amsterdam. There, on 2 June 1607, he entered on a contract of marriage with Frances Cotton of Berkshire, in England, then living at Uilenburg, in Holland. Osborn became one of the principal workers in horn and whalebone in Amsterdam, and his works appear to have been highly valued. Such as have survived are portraits in pressed horn; two medallions, dated 1626, with portraits of Frederic Henry, prince of Orange, and Amalia van Solms, his wife, are in the British Museum; and a similar medallion, with a portrait of Henry VIII, is in the Ryks-Museum at Amsterdam. Osborn died about 1634, and appears to have left a son, Constantyn Osborn, who carried on his business. He also had a brother, Richard Osborn, engaged in the same trade, with whom, however, he had considerable litigation.

[Oud-Holland, v. 509; Walpole's Anecdotes of Painting.]

L. C.