Arts & Crafts treasures go under hammer

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

A large collection of Arts & Crafts treasures will go under the hammer in the Cotswolds – the heart of the international design movement – on Friday, June 6.

Furniture by the designer Fred Gardiner – an apprentice to Ernest Gimson, one of the leading practitioners of the Arts and Crafts Revival – will be auctioned at the Selected Antiques Sale of Moore Allen & innocent in Cirencester.

The Arts & Crafts movement, which flourished in the UK between 1860 and the 1930s, was led by the artist and writer William Morris.

The Cotswolds was a hub for the movement, which sought to reintroduce traditional values of craftsmanship in an industrial age.

Many of the pieces come from a single collection. They were made for Mr and Mrs Cecil Young as wedding presents in the late 1940s.

Thanks to a revival in appreciation of Arts & Crafts furniture, the happy couple’s wedding list is now worth a small fortune, with an oval dining table expected to make £400 to £600, set of six lattice back dining chairs carrying an estimate of £400 to £600, and an oak sideboard expected to achieve £500 to £800.

Other Fred Gardiner pieces from the collection include a walnut side table (£400 to £600), an oak side table (£300 to £500), a walnut dressing table (£200 to £300), a walnut dressing stool (£100 to £150), a walnut bedstead (£300 to £500), a single door wardrobe in oak (£300 to £500), a walnut two-door wardrobe (£500 to £800), a walnut bedroom cabinet (£500 to £800), and an oak dressing table (£200 to £300).

The couple also commissioned pieces of furniture by other craftsmen working in the Arts & Crafts style, including an oak table (£100 to £150) and oak dining chairs (£100 to £150), and a walnut bureau (£300 to £500).

Auctioneer Philip Allwood said: “This beautiful and well-built furniture was hugely popular in the Cotswolds, where the craftsmen lived and worked, but its unusual to find so much of it – especially by the same craftsman – in one house.”

Although Arts & Crafts designers and craftsmen were well regarded, and their furniture is highly collectable today, they were rarely rich men, due to the ethic of handcrafting items.

An oak corner cupboard – for example – was reputedly made and given to a veterinary surgeon in lieu of payment by Ernest Gimson himself. It is expected to achieve £500 to £800.

A theme of interesting design runs throughout the sale. A Hukin & Heath lemon squeezer that would be considered contemporary in design today – despite dating from 1880 – is expected to make £300 to £500.

The electro-plated kitchen implement takes the form of a lemon raised on tripod legs.

Also for the kitchen is a rare Martin Brothers stoneware grotesque spoon warmer modelled as a crocodile. Produced in 1901, and measuring 25cm long, auctioneers are expecting bids of £5,000 to £8,000.

Equally rare is a 19th century Italian terracotta figure group by Bartolomeo Pinelli – an artist best known for his engravings and watercolours – depicting three women arm-in-arm on an oval base inscribed Pinelli F. Roma 1833. Measuring 35cm wide, the hand-potted one-off by this renowned artist should achieve £1,000 to £1,5000.

For a full auction catalogue, log on to

This entry was posted in Antiques, auction and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.