Mouseman collection in Wiltshire sale

Wiltshire auctioneers Woolley and Wallis is selling a private collection of Mouseman oak furniture in their Design Sale later this month.

Examples of Mouseman furnitureThe various lots in the sale include an impressive refectory dining table and four chairs, with an estimate of £2,000 – 3,000, as well as smaller pieces, including stools, cabinets and floor lamps.

Robert ‘Mouseman’ Thompson (1876–1955) was a British furniture maker. He lived in Kilburn, North Yorkshire, where he set up a business manufacturing oak furniture, which featured a carved mouse on almost every piece. This distinctive trademark came about in 1919. At the time, Thompson explained, “The origin of the mouse as my mark was almost in the way of being an accident. I and another carver were carving a huge cornice for a screen and he happened to say something about being as poor as a church mouse. I said I will carve a mouse here and did so, and then it struck me, what a lovely trademark.”

The sale covers all aspects of design from 1850 to the present day, including sections devoted to glass and ceramics by leading designers such as Clarice Cliff, Poole Pottery, Dame Lucie Rie and Morris Ware, along with furniture, works on paper, silver and metalware.

The ‘Mouseman’ collection is one of three private collections, with the others encompassing examples of work by Clarice Cliff and Poole Pottery.

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