Yorkshire oak furniture and furnishings once again proved its strength in Tennants Auctioneers’ 20th Century Design Sale on 25th June, which saw exceptional prices for pieces by both Mouseman and the ‘Critter’ craftsmen and generated a total hammer price for £142,110 for 177 lots, 73% of the sale total. Topping the sale was a 6-foot Mouseman sideboard, which sold for £5,500 (plus buyer’s premium), sideboards being amongst the most popular designs of Mouseman furniture at auction due to their practical and useful nature. A good Burr oak kidney table sold for £2,700, a newel post cap carved in the shape of an owl with mouse in one talon sold for £3,000, a carved mouse standing on a truckle of cheese sold for £3,800, and an oak fox carving by Stan Dodds for Mouseman sold for £5,200.
However, it was the strong selection of lots by the other Yorkshire Critter Craftsmen that saw a marked increase in demand, following on from the first ever exhibition dedicated to the Yorkshire Critters which was held at Tennants this Spring. Indeed, the sale saw the house record for a carving by Stan ‘Woodpecker’ Dodds under his own name rather that of Mouseman, when a ‘Woodpecker’ carved elephant sold for £5,200. A double pin tray made by Dodds under his earlier Rabbit signature sold well, too, at £1,100 against an estimate of £200-300. Further notable results were seen for pieces from the estate of Horace ‘Knightman’ Knight at Old Mill Furniture such as an oak three-piece suite (sold for £2,500), an oak panelled dresser (sold for £2,000), and an oak panelled bureau made by Knight and Sidney Pollard, who taught him his craft (sold for £2,200). A further oak bureau, this time by Albert ‘Eagleman’ Jeffray, sold for more than double the top estimate at £2,000.