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Specialist Diane Sinnott picks 10 lots to watch in the 20th Century Design Sale on 9th October.

16th September 2021. By Diane Sinnott

1. Bernard Leach (1887-1979): A Stoneware Tree of Life Vase, circa 1959

Estimate: £4,000-6,000 plus buyer’s premium

This is an exceptional piece of pottery, and the most famous design that Leach made with other examples held in major museum collections. This vase has clear crisp imprinted makers’ marks and comes with great provenance.


2. Robert Mouseman Thompson (1876-1955): An English Oak Mantel Clock, dated 1940

Estimate: £3,000-5,000 plus buyer’s premium

Mouseman clocks rarely come up at auction, and this is a particularly nice example with good provenance. It was made for the vendor’s mother at birth, who was from the Thirsk area, close to the Mouseman workshop at Kilburn.


3. Frank Lloyd-Wright (1867-1959) for F. Schumacher and Co: A Taliesin Design 102 Pattern Panel or Fabric Length, designed 1955

Estimate: £200-300 plus buyer’s premium

This length of fabric was designed by Frank Lloyd-Wright, one of the leading figures of 20th century architecture and design. The strong, clean pattern reflects the intersecting verticals and horizontals of his iconic buildings.


4.Workshop of Robert Mouseman Thompson (Kilburn): A Carved English Oak Figure of the North Shields Wooden Dolly

From Marco Pierre White’s Rudloe Arms Hotel

Estimate: £5,000-7,000 plus buyer’s premium

The Wooden Dolly is a copy of the large-scale version made by the Mouseman workshop in 1958 of a fishwife carrying a basket that sits on Liddell Street, North Shields; it is one of a series of such carvings that has been on the same site for over 200 years, inspired by an old ship’s figurehead erected by shipowner and brewer Alexander Bartleman, to celebrate the town’s maritime heritage. It is the first example of this rare carving that has been sold at Tennants.


5. Emile Galle (French, 1846-1904): A Large Vase Parlant, circa 1900

Estimate: £5,000-7,000

An impressively sized vase, which comes with provenance from an important sale at Sotheby’s. A similar vase was once in the collection of Elton John, which was sold at auction in 1988.


6. A Heal & Son Oak Bookcase, circa 1920s/30s

Estimate: £200-300

A practical piece of furniture, simply but beautifully constructed in oak. It is a good, affordable piece too, and is sold along with two other bookcases in the lot.


7. An English Aesthetic Movement Hand Painted and Ebonised Display Cabinet

Estimate: £1,000-1,500 plus buyer’s premium

This cabinet is fabulous quality and epitomises the English Aesthetic Movement. It is painted with depictions of Spring and Autumn.


8. Ettore Sottass for Bieffeplast: An Aero Desk Lamp

Estimate: £300-500 plus buyer’s premium

A great piece of Italian 20th Century design, this lamp would fit perfectly into modern interiors.


9. Robert Mouseman Thompson (1876-1955): An English Oak Fruit Bowl

Estimate: £400-600 plus buyer’s premium

Bowls are a great starting point for anyone looking to begin collection Mouseman or looking for just one piece for a home being easy to display. This is a particularly lovely example.


10. Robert Mouseman Thompson (1876-1955): An English Oak 10ft Refectory Table, circa 1955

From Marco Pierre White’s Rudloe Arms Hotel

Estimate: £4,000-5,000 plus buyer’s premium

Mouseman tables are such practical pieces of furniture, although this impressive 10ft example would need a rather large house! It comes with great provenance, having been made for the boardroom at John Smith’s Brewery at Tadcaster, North Yorkshire.


Diane Sinnott

Diane Sinnott


20th Century Design Specialist, General Valuer

+ 44 (0) 1969 623780

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