OF MICE AND ESKIMOS….

Although unlikely to be represented in the same sentence, mice and Eskimos played a key role in the huge success of an auction held on 7th January in Lichfield.

2010 got off to an excellent start for buyers and sellers at Richard Winterton’s Fine Art Sale where 96% of the Lots on offer sold above estimate. The important sale included the last remaining Robert ‘Mouseman’ Thompson oak furniture from St Josephs Convent near Tamworth Staffordshire. The first batch was sold by Richard Winterton’s family some 25 years ago.

MousemanItems on offer included a unique pair of bookends, a Lang settle, octagonal table, chairs and a bedroom suite, all carved with the iconic mouse, (curiously with the exception of a wardrobe). Remarkably, original orders/invoices dating from 1932 survive in the Robert Thompson archives. They make for interesting reading and provide solid provenance, cost prices and even the delivery charge by road to the Convent.

Lot 312 an octagonal library table cost £5 in 1932 (sold £4,200) and Lot 314 a ‘Lang’ settle originally cost £8, (sold £5,400). Lot 172, a pair of devil/monk bookends were commissioned specially for the Mother Superior and they sold for £2,250 to a telephone bidder.

Anything by Robert ‘Mouseman’ Thompson is enjoying great success in auction at present and this consignment totalled over £25,000.

Elsewhere, Lot 163 a graduated pair of oval meat platters thought to be Staffordshire c.1840 were discovered amongst a routine consignment by Associate Adrian Rathbone. Each were decorated with a green transfer print titled ‘Arctic Scenery’ and showed Eskimos, sleighs, huskies and igloos amongst icebergs. Deemed a rare design and the exploration aspect boosted their appeal. Four phone bidders fought it out eventually selling to a UK phone bidder at £1,450.

Lot 231, a Scottish impressionist oil painting of children on seashore by William Marshall Brown (1863-1936) was discovered on a valuation visit in Sutton Coldfield. Photographed on the front of the glossy sale catalogue, it sold to a delighted private London buyer for £6,000 who saw off three other phone bidders.

The next Fine Art & Jewellery Sale is 25th March and entries are now being invited. Contact Richard Winterton Auctioneers on 01543 251081 for further information.

www.richardwinterton.co.uk

Top