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Small But Mighty – Carved Mouse Tops The Lots in 20th Century Design Sale

21st June 2021.

An 8cm English Oak Mouse on a Wedge, carved by Robert (Mouseman) Thompson (1876-1955) was the highlight of the 20th Century Design Sale at Tennants on Saturday 19th June.  The mouse, carved on its haunches on a circular cheese wedge made £6,000 (plus buyer’s premium) against an estimate of £500-700.

Such smaller decorative pieces of Thompson’s work were in high demand by collectors and An English Oak Powder Bowl and Cover, circa 1948, of octagonal form, with carved mouse trademark to the cover, 10.5cm high achieved £4,800 (plus buyer’s premium) against an estimate of £1,000-1,500).  The piece was amongst several made for Patricia Kirk of Kilburn, North Yorkshire, the bowl being commissioned for her 21st birthday in 1948.   A wonderfully coloured Pair of English Oak Single Mouse Bookends, with wavy edge tops, 15.5cm high made £4,000 (plus buyer’s premium) against an estimate of £800-1,200.

Larger pieces from the Workshop of Robert Mouseman Thompson were also in demand.  A bespoke panelled bar, complete with hinged door and overhanging glass rack, last used in the Kirkgate House Hotel in Thirsk made £1,800 (plus buyer’s premium)

Elsewhere in the sale, furnishing pieces from other makers performed well.   A Carl Hansen & Son Walnut CH110 Directors Desk, sold for £2,900 (plus buyer’s premium) against an estimate of £700-1,000.  The CH110 desk was created in 1970 as part of Wegner's CH100 Series, which was relaunched in 2008 in celebration of Carl Hansen & Son's 100th anniversary. A Bacio Rug designed by Atelier Fornasetti made £1,600 (plus buyer’s premium) against an estimate of £750-1,000.

In the Ceramics section, An English Pottery "Louis Wain" Model of a Futurist Cat, design registered 1914, painted black, green and red with grinning expression made £1,900 (plus buyer’s premium) whilst  a Wedgwood Fairyland Lustre Poplar Trees and Elves and Bell Branch Imperial Bowl, designed by Daisy Makeig-Jones, achieved £1,700 (plus buyer’s premium) against an estimate of £600-£800.

The sale achieved a total hammer price of £150,930 for 202 lots, with a 98% sold rate.

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