* CHARLES RENNIE MACKINTOSH (SCOTTISH 1868-1928)
PAIR OF EBONISED BEECH ARMCHAIRS, CIRCA 1909
the curved and waved top rails above spindle filled back and arms, the seats with serpentine fronts having drop-in upholstered panels raised above flattened turned and blocked front legs linked by turned stretchers (2)
63cm (25in) wide, 79cm (31in) high, 39.5cm (15 1/2in) deep
Provenance: Miss Catherine Cranston (Major and Mrs J Cochrane), for the Card Room at Hous'hill, Nitshill, Glasgow, 1909
Edward Arthur Gamble, Glasgow
His sale, 13 May 1933, Glasgow
Sotheby's, 'Applied Arts from 1880', Friday 17th June, 1988, Lot 291
Larner, Gerald and Celia ' The Glasgow Style', Edinburgh 1979, no. 118
Billcliffe, Roger 'Charles Rennie Mackintosh: The Complete Furniture, Furniture Drawings and Interior Designs', Moffat 2009, p. 245-6, ill. p. 246, no. 1909.4
Mackintosh had decorated and furnished Kate Cranston's home, Hous'hill, Nitshill, Glasgow in 1904 but was recalled in 1909 to make a small extension and design furniture and fittings for a Card Room. All of the pieces designed for the room are unique in Mackintosh's oeuvre, each of them a departure from his established style of 1904-5 where he achieved a maturity in his furniture design reflected in his later architectural designs for the second phase of the Glasgow School of Art in 1907.
Mackintosh had earlier drawn traditional Windsor chairs in his sketchbooks and designed simple variants for the Dutch Kitchen at the Argyle Street Tea Rooms in 1906 and for the library at the Glasgow School of Art in 1910. Neither design was as sophisticated nor innovative as the Card Room chairs with their scalloped back rails and turned and blocked legs linked by spindly stretchers.
Four tables were commissioned from Francis Smith, Glasgow, who also made the accompanying chairs, presumably sixteen in all. Four are known to survive, including this pair.
Sold for £56,450 (buyer's premium included)