Exceptional prices were achieved for Mouseman furniture in Tennants Auctioneers 20th Century Design Sale on 25th July, when new bidders joined serious collectors to battle it out for fine early pieces.
Tennants’ 20th Century Design Specialist Diane Sinnott said of the sale: ‘Early Mouseman furniture always sells well at Tennants, but the prices seen on Saturday really were extraordinary. It was a pleasure to handle so many fine pieces with good provenance and see many of them go back into private Yorkshire collections.’
At the heart of the sale was a family collection of rare 1930s Robert ‘Mouseman’ Thompson furniture. The ten Mouseman lots sold for a combined hammer price of £60,650 (plus buyer’s premium). The pieces were commissioned by the late William Becket Henderson, a wool merchant from Keighley and later Kettlewell, near Skipton. Robert Thompson’s original sales records held in the workshop archive at Kilburn, North Yorkshire, show that William Henderson began commissioning furniture as early as 1926, when the Mouseman made a table for him. Highlights of the collection included two 1930s Oak Panelled Double Wardrobes, which sold for £9,800 and £9,200, and two 1930s Oak Panelled Bedside Cupboards, which sold for £8,500 and 7,500 (all prices quoted are excluding buyer’s premium). A Portrait of John Henderson, son of William Becket Henderson by Reginald Grange Brundrit in which the young boy is seated on a Mouseman stool, sold for £950.