The 14 pieces are from the family of Arthur Mitchell, whose father Henry founded the Smethwick brewery that would become Mitchells & Butlers. His Cheltenham home, Glenfall House, was remodelled by Norman Jewson and Sidney Barnsley (1865-1926) in the 1920s.
Following Mitchell’s death in 1965, much of the contents of Glenfall was sold by public auction.
Ten items of furniture were purchased at the sale by the Cheltenham Art Gallery & Museum, with other Glenfall items joining its Arts & Crafts collection at a later date.
Some of the pieces consigned to Mallams are thought to be from a suite of furniture, parts of which are recorded in ledgers in the Gloucester archive, that was made by Peter Waals in 1929 and 1931 ‘for Mrs R Cole’s London flat’. Cole was Mitchell’s daughter and the furniture commissioned as a wedding present.
From the same source is Tribute to the Horse, 1956, a signed and dated maquette by another member of the Cotswolds artistic community, sculptor William G Simmonds (1876-1968). Domestic and farm animals were his favoured subject with this group, shown at the Royal Academy in 1956, carved as two shire horses at harvest time.
Its layered construction – made in sections fitting together with dowels – recalls Simmonds’ interest in wooden toys and marionettes.