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DateVisit
04 October 2018Sworders Auction Rooms - The mouse that roared
16 October 2018Victoria & Albert Museum: includes a Private tour of selected Galleries

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Sworders Auction Rooms - The mouse that roared
Thursday 04 October 2018

We are starting a series of half day outings entitled “On Your Doorstep”. These outings will be within an approximate 10 mile radius of Hertford and will include venues not normally open to the public or where we will be given special access. 

Because of their close proximity members will be able to make their own way there by car. 

These outings will not be listed in the programme so members will be notified on our email system and places will be allocated on a first come first served basis. 

The first of these outings is to Sworders at Stansted Mountfitchet, one of the longest established fine art and antiques auction houses in the UK. We have been invited to view their collection of Robert ‘Mouseman’ Thompson furniture.  The sale is entitled The Mouse That Roared at Horlicks. This cache of approximately 40 lots of Arts and Crafts oak furniture comprises one of the Mouseman’s largest commissions from the prime period of his career. All pieces were handmade by the Kilburn workshop in the 1930s for offices at the landmark Horlick’s factory in Slough. The landmark brick building was built by company co-founder James Horlick in 1908 to produce the famous malted milk drink for the UK market.  Horlicks and Horlicks tablets were supplied to troops during the First World War and nourished a generation of polar explorers, pioneer aviators, travellers and mountaineers. 

The Mouseman commission followed the building of an office wing at the Berkshire factory in the late 1920s. The new wood panelled spaces were furnished with Mouseman partner’s desks, sideboards, coat stands and ’monk’s’ chairs, each carved with the Horlick family coat of arms and the Latin inscription Labore Et Sciential (by work and by knowledge). The commission, documented in ledgers at the Kilburn workshops, even extended to a series of simple paper ‘in’ trays. All these beautifully made and well-patinated pieces will be included in a special October 9 sale that carries a global estimate of around £100,000. 

After a checkered history of family and corporate ownership, the Horlicks factory in Slough, owned since 1969 by Beecham (later GSK), finally closed in 2017 with the site now slated for redevelopment. 

Although demand for the brand has fallen in the UK, Horlicks remains popular overseas particularly in India where the drink has been made since the 1950s.

The Horlicks collection of Robert ‘Mouseman’ Thompson furniture will sold on Tuesday 9 October.

Directions

Sworders' new saleroom is located on the Cambridge Road, half a mile north of Stansted Mountfitchet on the B1383.with 250 parking spaces. They are situated 6 miles from Stansted Airport, 1 mile from Stansted Mountfitchet railway station with its link to London Liverpool Street and 4 miles from M11 Junction 8.

Please note that some Sat Navs send you down Alsa Street. This is incorrect - please remain on the Cambridge Road (B1383) until you see their roadside signage.

If you are interested or know someone who would be please contact Julia Fulton, juliafulton@btinternet.com or 01707 324898. There is no charge for this outing.