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Thomas Whittaker ‘Gnomeman’ Rare Early Oak Spinning Stool

Stock ref: DS1343

Circa 1944

A rare and delightful example of  Thomas Whittaker's early gnome carved work, this bespoke spinning stool was made as a wedding present in 1944 for the previous owners parents and it has been in their family ownership until i acquired it recently directly from them. The stool is approximately 3/4 the size of typical later made spinning stools ( see stock ref: DS1105 in the sold archive for an example). It presents  in superb original condition with typical pegged and screwed construction and a deep colour and patina with adzing to all external facing surfaces. The back rest features a carved inlaid Yorkshire rose and a trademark gnome carved into the rear corner.

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) x 43(d) x 70(h)cm

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