A James I shoehorn by Robert Mindum, dated 1613, estimated at £2000-3000 in Bishop & Miller’s oak and country sale on October 14. Carved with flowers and geometric design, the text to the edge reads 'Robert Mindum Made This Shooing Hoorne For William Wheatee Gentleman 1613'. Found by Oliver Miller in an East Anglia home, it is the 27th Mindum shoehorn to be documented.

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The first sale in Stowmarket is scheduled for October 14 with follow-up events planned for January, May and September 2020.

Houlston spent 15 years heading Phillips’ and then Bonhams’ vernacular furniture sales but earlier this year moved to a consultancy role. Based in the Cotswolds, near Stow-on-the-Wold, he and wife Carolyn, previously a textiles specialist at Phillips, are dealing from home and online. Houlston’s departure marked the end of the regular Oak Interior sales at Bonhams held in Oxford with most items now being removed to Knightsbridge for sale.

Bishop & Miller’s sales, the first with over 500 lots, will feature period oak, vernacular furniture, textiles, metalwork, folk art and related works of art including early jewellery.

The first, with over 500 lots, includes a newly discovered Robert Mindum shoehorn (estimate £2000- 3000) and a small Yorkshire court cupboard c.1630 (£8000-10,000).

“We are delighted to be working with David and planning to take up the torch as the premier oak auction house in the country,” Oliver Miller told ATG.