Kilburn’s Finest:  A Private Collection of Mouseman Furniture

Kilburn’s Finest: A Private Collection of Mouseman Furniture

Our upcoming January Design sale is set to include several pieces from the David Lamb Mouseman furniture collection.

24 November 

Unlike many collectors, David Lamb grew up in a house with no antiques and very little in the way of original art. His parents had built the family home in 1960 and filled it with furniture which would now be classed as ‘mid-century modern’, and they enjoyed holidays and experiences rather than objects and pictures.

Indeed, spending money on art and antiques was not something they easily understood: ‘I first bought a serious piece of art in 1984 with my first bonus,’ recalls David. ‘It was a Bridget Riley gouache from the London gallery Karsten Schubert. My dad exploded when he found out what I had done, but that picture has been a source of pleasure for almost forty years and is probably the best financial investment I have ever made.

David has now been collecting for much of his life and the items to be sold by Sworders across several sales include Modern British, contemporary and sporting art, a collection of furniture by Robert ‘Mouseman’ Thompson, and an eclectic mix of 19th and 20th century furnishings. Their sale is driven primarily by the need to downsize as a move to Yorkshire beckons, but also because, he says, renewal can be a positive experience: ‘the passions change – over the years collections of modern silver and Scandinavian pottery have been built up and let go. That’s the joy of it.


Items from David Lamb's collection of Mouseman furniture.

Mouseman has been a healthy obsession for David for many years, and Sworders’ Design sale on 17-18 January includes several pieces from his collection including a range of dining and bedroom furniture. ‘I love craftsmanship, and indestructibility, and the power of a brand. The Mouseman story is charming and the furniture beautifully made. It fits within just about any decor, withstands daily use and steps up to the most special occasions. People love to sit around it and spot the mouse. But I am overrun with mice now - no one needs three dining tables even of different sizes – so I am confining my Thompson addiction to the smaller pieces.

Items from David Lamb's collection of Mouseman furniture.

Light oak furniture by Kilburn’s finest has provided an ample foil to some fine examples of post-war silver. A pair of candlesticks with tulip form sconces by Grant MacDonald, London 1976 (estimate £400-600) and a silver-gilt bowl with a ‘pebbled’ body by Stuart Devlin, London 1969 (estimate £250-350) will be offered for sale. So will some good examples of art pottery such as a yellow-glazed dog bowl made by CH Brannam in Devon for Liberty & Co. Inscribed ‘Love Me Love My Dog’ was quite possibly a one-off commission (estimate £250-350).

David will continue to buy the furniture and works of art he loves: ‘most of my buying is at auction now. It has become so easy with online bidding, access to condition reports, and shipping companies - and there is always the adrenalin of the moment. This won’t be the end of my collecting. The new house has just enough space and the occasional blank wall to allow me to explore what’s next.


To find out more about our 17 - 18 January Two Day Design Sale, please contact John Black |




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