Lancashire’s Arts & Crafts furniture collectors are normally more interested in Victorian dining chairs than furniture made in the 1950s. However, open bookcases made by the late Sid Pollack are a different matter.
Pollack is widely regarded as one of Yorkshire’s finest 20th Century cabinetmakers, considered in the same light as Robert “Mouseman” Thompson (1876 – 1955) who he initially worked for. On 2nd June, a superb collection of Sid Pollack oak furniture, including a rocking chair, display cabinet, occasional table and open bookcase, was sold at an antiques auction in Barnard Castle. The sale took place at the same auctioneer’s which, in May, sold several items of furniture by Gillows of Lancashire, including an antique library chair valued at £3000.
To find such a collection of Pollard’s Arts & Crafts furniture in one place is rare, as he left Robert Thompson to work at his family’s construction firm and from then on only made occasional pieces for family and friends. However, he is widely acknowledged as the finest of Thompson’s ex-craftsmen, developing a style which is as ageless and distinctive as a Robert Gillow antique balloon back dining chair . However, Cumbria’s Mouseman aficionados will look in vain for a quirky motif. Unlike Thompson and his contemporaries (Peter “Rabbitman” Heap, Derek “Lizardman” Slater, et al), Pollard felt his furniture stood on its own merits, and needed no trademark.
Good quality oak pieces, honestly made, are a trademark of Arts & Crafts furniture designers that still resonates today. Rather than pay the steep commissions charged at auction, visit a Preston antique dealer where you’ll find antique bookcases and other quality pieces at reasonable cost.
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