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Mouseman oak refectory type dining table and six chairs, c.1955, estimate £4000-5000 at Bourne End Auction Rooms (offered also with two ‘carvers’, pictured here as well).

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Bourne End Auction Rooms is offering a selection of Robert Thompson items on March 6 – including a 6ft dining table, six chairs, two carvers, sideboard, corner cupboard - ordered in 1954 and delivered a year later. It has been in the same family ever since but has now been consigned to auction.

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Mouseman oak panelled sideboard, c.1955, estimate £3000-4000 at Bourne End Auctions.

Not only are the original invoice and price list available to view but even photographs taken by the family in Kilburn, North Yorkshire with the Mouseman himself at his cottage and workshop, a short time before he died in December 1955.

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Tom Smith (right) pictured with Robert 'Mouseman' Thompson outside the Kilburn workshop, c.1955.

Wedding present

The dining furniture was chosen as a wedding gift by Derbyshire mill owner Tom Smith and his wife Hilda for their daughter Patricia and fiance John McMullan.

Bourne End’s Hugo Lemon said: “Living in Glossop, Smith, an amateur woodcarver, knew Thompson’s celebrated craftmanship from local churches and homes and he loved the drive through Peak District countryside to Thompson’s home and workshop in Yorkshire.”

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Tom Smith pictured with Robert 'Mouseman' Thompson outside the latter's Kilburn cottage, c.1955.

Lemon adds: “Commissioned in 1954 and no doubt entered into the Mouseman’s ‘Black Book’ of orders, a letter from a delighted Patricia to John confirms the furniture’s delivery on October 19, 1955. “

She writes: “The furniture arrived yesterday and is absolutely gorgeous. Mousie’s grandson brought it, along with a foreman & they said that I had there the antiques of the future and a good investment. Judging by the solidity & the workmanship, I think they are right. I keep peeping in to stand & admire.”

The invoice from ‘Robert Thompson’s Craftsmen Ltd’, ‘ecclesiastical contractors’, dated October 28, 1955, shows ‘to executing above [‘Dining Room Furniture’] in prime selected English oak’, the dining table cost £50, the six chairs £54 (now estimate £4000-5000 at Bourne End with the table), the sideboard £70 (estimate £3000-4000), corner cupboard £30 (estimate £700-900). A coffee table also ordered cost £10. 0. 0. Including transport, the whole bill came to £276. 5. 11.

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Mouseman oak hanging corner cupboard, c.1955, estimate £700-900 at Bourne End Auctions.

The couple added to their collection as they moved, first to London and three different homes in Amersham, Buckinghamshire.

The auction house notes that “sensitive restoration will benefit some pieces sadly water damaged while in storage”.

Other (much later) Mouseman pieces from the family dating from the 1970s-80s are also on offer from Bourne End.