Not every collector can easily accommodate pews, altar crosses, lecterns and prie-dieu.
However, there is no doubt that two carvings offered for sale at Railtons (20% buyer’s premium) in Wooler, Northumberland, on February 18, were rare pieces.
The figures of a bishop standing 17in (44cm) and and a 14in (35cm) Christ were probably carved in the 1960s or 70s by either George Weightman or Stan Dodds as a special commission or for promotional purposes. Both have the recessed ‘mouse’ carved to the square block base.
Estimating them was not easy – they were never going to be in the same league as some of the more comical figures that have made huge sums in recent times – but they were undercooked at £150-250. In fact, the pair sold at £7100.
The record for a Thompson carving is the anthropomorphic figure of The Mouseman of Kilburn sold at Tennants in March 2021 for £13,000, a sale that also included a figure of Mr Toad of Wind in the Willows fame hammered at £10,000.
A more straightforward example of the Thompson output was a pair of pre-war oak stools with desirable dished tops. These came to Railtons from the same source and sold for £3700.