Sunday - 07 February 2016

Mother Superior Mouseman

11 January 2010Written by ATG Reporter

AS part of a decision to downsize, St Joseph's Convent at Haunton in Staffordshire sold the remainder of their collection of oak furniture and accessories by Robert Thompson (1876-1955) at Richard Winterton of Lichfield.

The first batch of St Joseph's Mouseman furnishings was sold by Richard Winterton's family some 25 years ago.

This small offering on on January 7 of primary-provenanced material from the 1930s was warmly received, with the top price of £5400 going to an oak 'Lang' settle carved with the phrase Before Honour is Humility and estimated at £1000-1500.

It had originally cost £8. An octagonal library table, measuring 2ft 4in (72cm) wide on a cross base, had cost £5 in 1932, but here sold at £4200, well above a modest £800-1200 estimate.

But perhaps most unusual were a pair of 6 1/4in (16cm) bookends, made - according to the original Kilburn account book - "for the Mother Superior" in 1932 and carved as a horned devil and a monk.

The Aztec-inspired devil carries the mouse signature. The pair exceeded hopes of £300-400 to sell to a telephone bidder for £2200 (plus 15 per cent buyer's premium).

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