The 20th Century Design Department’s expertise and knowledge encompasses furniture, studio pottery, ceramics, glass, metal, sculpture and furnishings from all the major design movements in the applied arts from 1860 to the present day: Arts and Crafts, Aesthetic Movement, Art Nouveau, Art Deco, Modernist, Post-War Design and Contemporary Design.
The Department attracts specialist collectors from around the world to its auctions, which form part of Tennants’ Modern Living Sales held three times a year. Notable sales have been made by the department for works by all the major designers of the period including: William Morris & Co, Charles Voysey, Martin Brothers, Sidney Barnsley, William Moorcroft, Christopher Dresser, Liberty & Co, Lucie Rie, Hans Coper, William De Morgan, Demétre Chiparus and Ferdinand Preiss.
Selling high-profile single owner collections is a specialism of the department. These include the Michael Webb Collection of Studio Pottery, the Robert ‘Mouseman’ Thompson Library from Leeds Girls’ High School, the Carl Banks Collection of Linthorpe Pottery, an Important Collection of Art Deco Figures, and an extensive Private Collection of Moorcroft Pottery, the Property of a Lady.
Over the last twenty years, the department has become the leading authority on the Arts and Crafts oak furniture and furnishings of Robert ‘Mouseman’ Thompson. In 2016 the department staged the first ever exhibition of Robert ‘Mouseman’ Thompson in conjunction with his descendants at the Garden Rooms at Tennants, and specialist Diane Sinnott is also a recognised expert in the work of the other ‘Yorkshire Critters’.
A Morris and Company Tapestry designed by John Henry DearleSold for £54,000
Charles Francis Annesley Voysey (1857-1941): An Archive of Eighty-Five Watercolour Designs and Working Drawings for Tomkinsons Carpets, c.1890sSold for £55,000
An Oak Refectory Table, by Sidney/Edward Barnsley, c.1905-15Sold for £16,000
A Monumental William Moorcroft Flambe Eventide Landscape Pattern Vase, 1928Sold for £8,000
A Robert "Mouseman " Thompson Panelled Oak Dressing ChestSold for £14,000