Robert ‘Mouseman’ Thompson monk heads sale

The desire for pieces from the workshop of Robert ‘Mouseman’ Thompson appears to show no signs of abating judging by recent results at Tennants Auctioneers’ 20th-century Design Sale.

The top lot among a varied offering of figures and furniture was a carved English oak figure which achieved a hammer of £6,000 more than twice the top estimate. The 27cm high figure of a merry monk newel post top, shows the monk holding a pint and a bible, with the trademark carved mouse hiding up his sleeve.

A Robert 'Mouseman' Thompson carving of a monk

A carved English oak mare and foal group, circa 1976, by Stan Dodds (1928-2012) on a tooled base with carved mouse trademark and numbered 14 sold for £4,500.

‘Mouseman’ furniture included a suite of bedroom furniture, commissioned in 1951 and led by an oak panelled double wardrobe inscribed ’19 D.A.B 51’, sold for £5,500. Interesting chairs included a set of three oak panel back chairs from the 1930s, with the backs decorated with a carved sheep, a goat and a ram, which fetched £1,500. Also on offer were two ‘Mouseman’ bowls, one of which is the largest (42cm diameter) ‘Mouseman’ bowl to have been sold at Tennants, and one the smallest (12cm diameter). The large bowl was a bespoke commission and sold for £2,500, and the smaller nut dish sold alongside a slightly larger dish made £400.

Five pieces by the famed 20th-century potter Lucie Rie were also on offer, led by a porcelain footed bowl, covered in a green glaze , which sold for £3,500 and a yellow glazed stoneware footed bowl, which made £2,000.

Elsewhere in the sale, two striking pieces of Murano glass sold strongly; a large Murano glass centrepiece, probably by Danilo Zanella, with two clear cased dolphins riding on the crest of two waves, on a shaped base, signed Danilo Zanella achieved £3,500 and a large Murano aquarium, script artist signature and glass studio Murano, achieved £3,200.