Edward Barnsley cupboard
An Edward Barnsley walnut standing cupboard.

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The private collection offered in Edinburgh on January 11 featured 65 lots from John Minoprio, who grew up surrounded by furniture designed either by his architect father Anthony Minoprio (1900-88) or by Edward Barnsley (1900-87).

He himself enjoyed a long, friendly and productive relationship with Barnsley and the craftsmen in his workshop at Froxfield in Hampshire.

Pictured above is a walnut standing cupboard for shoes with a fine chequer sycamore and ebony inlay and adjustable shelved interior. It was commissioned by Anthony Minoprio from Edward Barnsley in 1952.

The cupboard is mentioned in a letter Barnsley wrote to Minoprio in April 1979 discussing the potential cost of a china cabinet: “The example taken from 1952, when we made your Boot & Shoe cabinet, is not without interest. If a repeat was made in near future it would work out in the region of £2000 as compared with £161.10.”

Estimated at £2000-3000, it topped the sale at £24,000 (plus 25% buyer’s premium).