WINCHESTER.- Bellmans Auctioneers & Valuers
announce the sale of a collection of 15 lots of Cotswold School Furniture at their new saleroom in Winchester (The Red House, Hyde Street, Winchester, Hampshire, SO23 7DX) on Tuesday, February 14, 2017.
The majority of the pieces, which carry estimates from around £100 for a single chair to £6,000 for a bookcase, were made by Peter Waals (1870-1937) in the tradition of Ernest Gimson at his workshop in Chalford in Gloucestershire between 1922 and 1936. Waals trained as a cabinetmaker in his native Netherlands, but answered an advertisement in The Times for a cabinetmaker and joined Ernest Gimson and Ernest Barnsley early in 1901. Gimson, who came from Leicester was hugely inspired by the Arts and Crafts traditions of William Morris and Phillip Webb, and Waals became his chief cabinetmaker at Gimsons furniture workshop at Daneway House near Sapperton. After Gimsons death in 1919, Waals set up his own workshop making domestic pieces at Halliday's Mill, in the village of Chalford and remained in the Cotswolds for the rest of his life.
Waals had several distinguished patrons from the Cadburys to the Pilkingtons, and these items in Bellmans sale have come from Lyndwood, Stoughton Road, Leicester, which was the former home of the Goddard family who patented Goddards silver polish in the 19th century. The pieces were commissioned directly from Peter Waals by the family in the 1920s and 1930s as part of a scheme including an oak panelled dining room. A family member remembers: the many items being delivered to my parents in Leicester by Mr Waals. He always stayed for lunch and as child of 6 or 8 years, he was quite an imposing man with huge hands and a deep Dutch voice! Several of the pieces were later gifted to the Leicester Museum and the V&A.
Waals had strong connections with the East Midlands and in 1935 Frank Pick, chair of the Council for Art and Industry, suggested that Waals should be invited to Loughborough College to act as consultant in design. The college was the main centre for the training of handicraft teachers and Waalss work did a huge amount to disseminate the approach and standards of furniture making established by Gimson and the Barnsleys. As well as working with the students, Waals designed all the furniture for Hazelrigg Hall as well as other fittings throughout the college.
Iain Rushbrook, Senior Director, commented: We are extremely pleased to be offering this important collection in our Winchester saleroom. This is the first time these pieces have been offered for sale having been passed by direct descent.
He continues: We are very pleased to have photographs of some of the items in situ at Lyndwood in the original rooms that the pieces were commissioned for. You can see the Macassar ebony and Cuban mahogany bookcase, which is estimated at £6,000-8,000 in two of them; while a nest of walnut tables and a walnut coffee table in another.
Also among the notable highlights, all by Peter Waals, is a chequer inlaid oak chest of drawers which is estimated at £5,000-7,000; an oak and macassar ebony side table which is expected to fetch £4,000-6,000 and an Australian walnut tallboy with an estimate of £3,000-5,000.