News & Insights

Mouseman Continues to Excel

6th March 2023.

Mouseman furniture and furnishings excelled in Tennants Auctioneers’ 20th Century Design Sale on 4th March. A favourite in Yorkshire for many years, the popularity of Mouseman is growing across the country, with an increasing number of buyers in the sale coming from the South of England. The 207 lots of Mouseman in the sale sold for a combined hammer price of £270,740 and included pieces from three private collections: Marco Pierre White’s hotel the Rudloe Arms in Wiltshire, the Tanfield Collection of Mouseman, and Denton Hall, Ilkley.

Fine, early and unusual pieces saw strong bidding and exceptional prices, such as the top lot, a circa 1967 Workshop of Robert ‘Mouseman’ Thompson English Oak Mantel Clock with the dial flanked by carved elephants, which sold for £10,000 (all prices exclude buyer’s premium). Deeply patinated early pieces, made in Thompson’s lifetime included a circa 1930s English Oak Single Door Wardrobe, which sold for £9,000, and a circa 1928/9 English Oak Monk’s Chair, which sold for £8,000. The Monk’s Chair had a pestle and mortar carved on the back panel, presumably relating to the commissioner of the piece, and it had an unusual trademark mouse with lifted head and front paws. Also of note was an English Oak Panelled Cupboard of small proportions, which sold for £7,500, and an English Burr Oak Jar and Cover, by repute from the estate of Mouseman carver Fred Suffield, which sold for £4,200.

Mouseman oak carvings, again, exceeded expectations and reflected their growth in popularity over the last few years. An example of the most impressive and intricate of the Mouseman carvings, a pair of fighting stallions, sold for £7,500, and a characterful boar sold for £5,200. Both pieces were carved by Stan Dodds, one of the finest of Robert Thompson’s carvers, who would later produce carvings under his own signature woodpecker.  

The top lot of the whole sale was a rare stained-glass window of St Margaret of Antioch by Pre-Raphaelite and Arts and Crafts luminary Sir Edward Burne-Jones, which sold for £14,000. As most Burne-Jones’ stained-glass windows remain in their original buildings, it is extremely rare to see an example of his work coming onto the open market. The stained-glass window was designed by Burne-Jones, but was made and sold by Morris & Co., and it closely relates to a watercolour design in the Huntington Library collection in California for three windows of female saints commissioned for All Saints Church in Winnipeg, Canada, only one of which installed in the church.

The sale realised a total hammer price of £361,410 for 394 lots, with a 96% sold rate.


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