27/10/2023 General News
Some impressive examples of furniture by the renowned Yorkshire craftsman Robert ‘Mouseman’ Thompson will feature in our Fine Art & Antiques Sale on Wednesday 8 November.
Thompson’s work is exceedingly popular – particularly in this part of the country – and we are lucky to have some early examples in this sale that will be of great interest to Mouseman collectors and connoisseurs of English oak furniture alike.
Central to the collection is an oak dressing chest (pictured), circa 1930-1940, which is expected to reach between £4,000 and £6,000. It has two short drawers over two long drawers and is topped with a moulded mirror. Both the mirror and chest carry the signature mouse carvings.
From the same era is a stand-alone oak dressing table mirror of exceptional colour quality which carries a guide price of £1,000-£1,500. Another stand-out lot is a set of eight impressive oak panel-back dining chairs – each with the carved mouse signature – that has been valued between £2,000 and £3,000.
Robert Thompson (1876-1955) was part of the 1920’s revival of craftsmanship inspired by the Arts and Crafts movement led by William Morris, John Ruskin and William Carlyle. He set up his own furniture business in Kilburn, North Yorkshire that is still run today by his descendants.
His style became much sought after and was characterised by a carved mouse on almost every piece, thought to have come about following a conversation about “being as poor as a church mouse” with one of his colleagues. This tradition was adopted by his ‘disciples’ who followed his style of working in Yorkshire oak and gave rise to a host of makers such as Colin ‘Beaverman’ Almack and Derek ‘Lizardman’ Slater. Thompson’s work can be seen across the world, including local sites such as Ampleforth Abbey and St Mary’s Church in Beverley.