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Thomas Whittaker ‘Gnomeman’ Rare Early Oak and Leather Stool

Stock ref: DS1331

Circa 1930s

A rare very early Thomas 'Gnomeman' Whittaker lattice leather topped oak stool made in the 1930s before he had established his trademark gnome signature that is carved on pieces made from the 1940s onwards. Bearing many design and constructional similarities with the Mouseman equivalent stool, it is of different overall dimensions. Heavily adzed to  the legs and external surfaces of the stretchers the carving is in his  more rustic, less precise style than a Thompson's craftsman would use. The lattice leather strapping is original and has deleloped a lovely patina, there's age typical stretching and sagging but all the straps remain intact with no evidence of repair or replacement. The wood has developed a glorious aged colour with some typical shrinkage, knot loss and natural splitting but nothing structural as all the joints are sound.

Thomas whittaker (1910 -1991) lived and worked in York and later in Littlebeck, near Whitby, North Yorkshire. His trademark gnome is carved onto most of his post war work and was inspired by a german jewish refugee he met shortly before the outbreak of war who was judging a piece he had entered into the North of England Craftsmen's Exhibition in Newcastle. He was asked to indenify the piece in some way and the judge suggested the 'german oak spirit'  the legend being that a gnome is born each time an acorn germinates and will guard that tree throughout its life. His work is now highly regarded and nearly as well known as Robert Thompson's. His business ceased on his death and his former home and workshop is now a private residence. For those interested in learning more about his life and work i attach a link to a British Pathe newsreel from 1961. Gnomeman Thomas Whittaker

Size: 35(w) x27(d) x 36(h)cm

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