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It benefited from 11 entries of Thompson of Kilburn furniture sent up from the Midlands to sell nearer to the ‘Mouseman’s’ home ground, but the buying was on a much broader basis than local preference, encompassing ceramics from Sèvres to Moorcroft, and Victorian silver to Meiji works of art.

In Ilkley, as is the case elsewhere, ‘Decorative’ was the buzz word.

Estimated at £1500-2200 was a set of 12 late 19th century Naples porcelain figures of nude Olympians in a variety of poses. At 7in (18cm) high, the attractive figures with gilt embellishment were raised on shaped bases and brought £1500 from a private buyer.

More familiar, but equally in demand was a pair of signed Worcester porcelain vases. painted with his trademark Highland cattle by Harry Stinton. The 6in (15cm) cylindrical vases with pierced necks and on leaf capped scroll feet (shape no. 42/G) took £1950 from a Channel Islands buyer.

If there was a slack section to the sale it was in the East – an 18th century Chinese oblong porcelain dish with a painted and gilded coat-of-arms to the centre proved too optimistically estimated at £1200-1500 and failed to sell – but an otherwise rather muted metalware section was boosted by two Japanese Meiji bronzes entered by a dealer.

One 121/2in (32cm) dark patinated bronze of a warrior standing in a fighting position and holding a stave, on an oblong hardwood base with carved bracket feet, took £1400 from the trade. Another trade buyer took a signed bronze of a standing cock pheasant with silver, enamel and gilded bronze feathers. Standing 101/4in (26cm) high, it made £2600.

And so to the ‘Mouseman’, Yorkshire’s favourite cabinetmaking son now that the immortal Chippendale is beyond most pockets. Three pieces by Thompson of Kilburn were consigned by a private vendor from Leicester.

The strongest seller was a set of 12 adzed oak chairs, including two elbow chairs. The chairs, with a straight top rail on a pierced lattice back and with a padded seat with leather covering and turned faceted legs joined by stretchers, were all in good condition and the set was fiercely contested to £4400.

Appealing to a Co. Durham dealer was a 1930s adzed oak enclosed ‘Mouseman’ dresser. With a ledged back and two short drawers above three long central ones all with turned wood handles and flanked on either side by a panelled cupboard door with an iron latch and hinges, the 5ft 6in (1.72m) dresser brought £3900.

Falling for the bottom estimate was the final ‘Mouseman’ offering, an adzed oak refectory table. With a plank top on faceted baluster turned end supports joined by a floor stretcher, the table, measuring 7ft 101/4in by 2ft 101/4in (2.39m x 87cm) brought £3000.

Most of the other major pieces of furniture came from a deceased estate at Apperley Bridge, a village near Ilkley.

Originally thought to be a set of 11 Regency mahogany dining chairs, the set was discovered to be only a near matching match and were consequently split into two real sets – one of six including an armed chair and one of five.

The set of six sabre-legged, drop-in-seat sets with brass inlaid curved top rails, and scrolled surmounts made £2200, and the set of five sold for £500 – both going to the same North Yorkshire dealer.

Andrew Hartley, Ilkley, February 14-15
Number of lots: 1060
Number of lots sold: 83 per cent
Sale total: £280, 000
Buyer’s premium: 10 per cent