Stan Dodds carving: Mouseman fox, £5200 at Tennants.

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They were the craftsmen who produced adzed oak carvings and furniture in the manner of their employer or inspiration Robert Thompson. Like the Mouseman, most chose to sign their work with carved creatures.

Apprenticed in 1942 at the Kilburn workshop, Dodds rose to succeed his teacher George Weightman as senior carver. His work is often easily identified as he specialised in sculptural figure and animal groups.

An example at the June 25 Leyburn sale was a 9½in (24cm) long model of a seated fox. Estimated at £3000-4000, it sold at £5200, a house record for his work.

Such figural carvings were produced at Kilburn from the early 1960s and Dodds made some at his home workshop using his own signature of a rabbit.


Stan Dodds carving: Rabbitman pin tray, £1100 at Tennants.

One such piece was the 5in (12.5cm) long double pin tray with carved edges and a crouching rabbit dividing the two hollows for pins. It quadrupled the estimate at £1100.


Stan Dodds carving: Woodpeckerman elephant, £5200 at Tennants.

Later in the decade, when fellow Kilburn craftsman Peter Heap registered the rabbit as his own trademark, Dodds switched to carving a woodpecker and it is as Woodpeckerman that most of his admirers know him.

The 6¼in (16cm) high elephant from Dodds’ estate with the recessed carved bird more than doubled the mid-estimate, matching the house record at £5200.

All three items went to collectors across England.