Robert 'Mouseman' Thompson more than doubles auction estimate

Posted in: Works of Art & Furniture
Posted on: 16 January 2015
Robert 'Mouseman' Thompson more than doubles auction estimate At the Furniture and Works of Art Auction, held in McTear’s on Tuesday, 13th January 2015, staff were left speechless by the rocketing prices achieved for several Robert ‘Mouseman’ Thompson lots in the auction. First up was lot 401, a Mouseman nest of tables. With the typical Mouseman signature, the tables attracted strong bidding in the room and saw the hammer rest on £600! Next up, lot 402, the Mouseman coffee table, also sold above estimate at £360. Lot 435 followed, the Mouseman chopping board, and the strength of Mouseman’s timeless appeal was reflected in the hammer price of £220. The finial flourish was still to come… lot 436, the Mouseman pair of bookends, came up next in the auction and flew past the estimate of £100-200. Bidders were in a frenzy after furious bidding, with the hammer coming down on £850 – a fantastic result! With huge pre-auction interest, valuers knew that the hammer results would be excellent on these lots, but everyone was pleasantly surprised with the final results.

Mouseman furniture is known for its rich texture, colour and hand-crafted individual nature. Robert Thompson, born in 1876, dedicated his life to the craft of carving and joinery in English oak. He taught himself to use the traditional tools, and by 1919, he was experimenting with his own ideas in terms of furniture design, based on the English styles of the 17th century. The now-famous mouse signature, found on every item crafted by Robert Thompson, has an intriguing history. The story reputedly told by Thompson himself is that one of his craftsmen remarked that they were ‘all as poor as church mice’ whereupon Robert carved a mouse on the church screen he was then working on. This particular screen has never been found, but the mouse signature has continued as a trademark of quality and dedication to furniture craftsmen ever since.

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