According to an account in a local newspaper that called him ‘the modern Grinling Gibbons’ he was a wood carver’s son and was apprenticed to a Mr Gobell for five years from the age of 14.
Subsequently, he undertook work for Archbishop Temple and his family and exhibited at one of the Paris exhibitions.
He is listed in the census of 1871 as living at 274-6 Waterloo Road, London.
This 3ft 5in (1.03m) plaque is certain exhibition quality: decorated with corn, grapes, and berries in a scrolling floral decorated frame, it is signed and dated 1895.
Presented in a glazed mahogany display case with a provenance to William McAlpine, it sold for £3800 at Dreweatts (25% buyer’s premium) in Donnington Priory on February 24.
Arts & Crafts urns
This Interiors sale was also notable for the inclusion of two pairs of 15in (40cm) high Arts & Crafts era lead garden urns attributed to the Bromsgrove Guild of Applied Arts.
Of two different hexagonal forms, both were cast in relief with panels of flowers and foliate and frogs and birds and flowers. To one pair, a curious mouse to each corner climbs to the rim. These whimsical designs c.1910 are probably by Bromsgrove founder Walter Gilbert.
Against lowly estimates of £200-300 and £300-500, they sold at £5000 and £5500.