A Carved Oak ‘Mouseman’ Fruit Bowl by Robert Mouseman Thompson (1876-1955)

Origin: English
Period: Mid 20thC
Provenance: Unknown
Date: c.1950
Diameter: 11.75”
Height: 2.25”

The beautiful ‘mouseman’ fruit bowl, being a foot in diameter and with the lovingly carved iconic single mouse to the centre carved in the round, the sides being honeycomb adze carved to a stem base and the whole with a lovely deep patination and particularly good colour, surviving from the middle of the twentieth century from the workshop of Robert Mouseman Thompson (1876-1955).

The condition of the bowl is superb with no chips or cracks with a well-established patina to the English oak.

Robert Mouseman Thompson was born on the 7th May 1876 in Kilburn, North Yorkshire. Thompson initially trained as an apprentice engineer before returning to the family business under the guidance of his father but unfortunately tragedy struck when his Father died in 1895, leaving a young Thompson to run the family business. Regarding the iconic mouse motif, it is believed that the trademark mouse came about after a brief conversation between work colleagues who referred to ‘being as poor as a church mouse’ and thereafter Thompson carved a mouse into his works.

Thompson formed part of the Arts & Crafts movement which became popular in the 1920’s. This creative era included British textile designer William Morris and Stanley Webb Davies, leading makers of Arts & Crafts furniture in the early to mid 20th Century. Thompson’s work became in high demand which lead to many commission projects including Ampleforth College which undoubtedly propelled popularity and many more commissions works followed. Robert Thompson had a hugely successful career until his passing on 8th December 1955.

Not just a useable beautiful bowl but a very collectable one too.