How Much is Mouseman Furniture Worth?

Value can vary greatly depending on the specific piece, its age, condition, and provenance


Robert Thompson, also known as “The Mouseman of Kilburn”, was a renowned English furniture maker who founded the Robert Thompson's Craftsmen Ltd. company in Kilburn, North Yorkshire in the 1920s. He had a simple ethos: “From a single acorn to a finished piece of beautifully hand-crafted oak furniture. One man’s work from start to finish.” His distinctive furniture, featuring his signature carved mouse symbol, has increasingly become sought after by collectors and antique enthusiasts.

Son of the village carpenter and stonemason, Thompson inherited the family business when his father passed away in 1885. In between repairing barns and fixing fences, he started to lay down reserves of oak wood for seasoning (the process of correctly drying timber to remove moisture). It is believed that Thompson started producing furniture wares for locals within his hometown around 1911. Following the end of World War I, Ampleforth College commissioned Thompson to furnish their premises, which would stimulate an influx of future projects throughout the remainder of his career. Although Thompson died in 1955, his workshop remains active and continues to reproduce his most iconic designs to this day.



A graduated nest of three Robert Thompson of Kilburn 'Mouseman' occasional tables

Sold for £480


Thompson employed ancient tools and techniques to produce furniture that is admired for its honest construction, durability, and exceptional quality. Actively produced during the Arts & Crafts era, Mouseman furniture features simple clean lines, exceptionally crafted in English oak, emanating beauty, and functionality. While the trademark carved mouse was only registered in 1931, it appears on Mouseman pieces as far back as 1924. Born out of a conversation with a colleague who commented that he was “As poor as a church mouse”, these little rodent carvings offer valuable clues to determine the age.

The value of Mouseman furniture can vary greatly depending on the specific piece, its age, condition, and provenance. Vintage Mouseman furniture from the 1920s-1950s is typically the most valuable, with some pieces fetching many thousands of pounds at auction. Early pieces from the 1920s and 30s have achieved up to £40,000 in recent years. Examples produced post 1955 are less valuable than their older counterparts, a 1960s cheeseboard could achieve £300 whereas a 1990s version would achieve £100. Newer Mouseman pieces made by the company in recent decades tend to be less valuable than the original creations, though they can still command high prices compared to standard mass-produced furniture.


An early pair of Robert Thompson of Kilburn 'Mouseman' carved oak book ends

Sold for £800


Factors that influence the worth of a Mouseman piece include the type of wood used, the complexity of the design, and whether it bears the maker's signature mouse carving. Rarer or one-of-a-kind items can be particularly valuable to collectors and Burr oak carvings tend to be more desirable. Certain designs are more popular than others, such as Thompson’s Monk chair.

Mouseman furniture is considered a worthwhile investment due to its enduring robustness and exceptional craftsmanship. We would always recommend meeting with an experienced furniture valuer for a professional appraisal of individual Mouseman furniture pieces, as this will not only provide often fascinating information about its history, but also an accurate valuation.


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