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Works by well-known Cotswold School Arts & Crafts makers including Ernest Gimson, Sydney Barnsley and Peter Waals were part of Mitchell’s collection and will be offered at the firm’s Cheltenham Christmas sale on December 20.

Mitchell, who died in 1965, was a great supporter of the Cotswold School. He commissioned many of the pieces directly from the furniture makers and was a personal friend of Edward Barnsley, son of Sidney Barnsley. 

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An oak two-door cupboard by Sidney Barnsley.

He lived in Cheltenham at Glenfall House. In 1961 he downsized to a smaller house on the estate and on his death an auction was held and a number of pieces were bought by the Cheltenham Art Gallery which are now on display in The Wilson Cheltenham Art Gallery and Museum. The Mitchell family is now selling part of the remaining collection.

Highlights of the sale later this month include:

  • A walnut case long clock, likely to be by Peter Waals, which includes a circular steel dial and a movement by Dent of London. It carries an estimate of £20,000-£30,000.
  • A second long clock, also carrying an estimate of £20,000 to £30,000, with a macassar ebony wood case, has a mother-of-pearl and abalone shell inlay with stylised trees, flowerheads and squirrels.
  • An Ernest Gimson oak chest on a stand with raised panels and chip carved ovolo edge and carries an estimate of £4000 to £6000.
  • An oak two-door cupboard by Sidney Barnsley.


Other items include Arts & Crafts mahogany side tables, a bedside cabinet and a table lamp. 

Lindsey Braune, co-founder of The Cotswold Auction Company, said: “This is a rare opportunity to see pieces which were commissioned directly from Gimson, Barnsley, Waals and the other Cotswold craftsmen… The added extra in this case is the Arthur Mitchell provenance which leads directly back to the early days of the Cotswold School.”

The Cotswold School of Arts & Crafts was established by Earnest Gimson and the Barnsley brothers – Earnest and Sidney – who had moved from London in 1893. By 1902 other London makers had moved to the area around the Cotswolds village of Chipping Campden.