Early Barnsley – an oak dresser with brass fittings designed and made by Edward Barnsley, 1935-6.

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The 40-piece collection, which covers more than 50 years of Edward Barnsley's working life and designs, was originally created by a London architect and has been further expanded by his son.

The majority of the pieces were made or designed by Barnsley between the 1930s and the 1960s, with a few pieces designed or made by Peter Waals' workshop in the 1930s.

The family are now seeking a new home for the collection on permanent loan.

"It is an unusual situation," said Mr Weller. "The owner is very keen that the collection finds a home where people can appreciate the craftsmanship and supreme skill of those men who produced such wonderful furniture. It is a genuine opportunity for someone who may wish to open their house to the public to have on loan an exceptional collection of Arts and Crafts furniture."

The collection includes the last pieces to be designed by Edward Barnsley himself before he died in 1987 aged 87: a desk and filing cabinet, together with a matching coffee table.

In 60 years, Barnsley's workshop made approximately 7000 pieces of furniture, of which at least 1500 were individual designs. He received the CBE in 1945 for his contribution to quality of design and craftsmanship.

The Edward Barnsley Educational Trust was set up in 1980 and the Edward Barnsley Workshop at Froxfield flourishes under James Ryan today.

Contact: 01403 713587.

By Mark Bridge