Chair

  • Designer / Maker

    Designed by C.R. Mackintosh (1868-1928)

  • Details

    Oak; the seat re-rushed

    54 in (137.2 cm) × 18 ¾ in (47.6 cm) × 16 ¼ in (41.2 cm)

    Scottish (Glasgow), circa 1897

  • Marked

    ‘8’ (on front right facing corner of frame), and ‘10’ (on front left facing corner of seat).

  • Provenance

    Argyle Tea Rooms, Glasgow, 1898; […]; private collection

  • Collection

    Detroit Institute of Art

  • Literature

    Roger Billcliffe. Charles Rennie Mackintosh: the Complete Furniture Drawings & Interior Designs, Moffat, 2009, 1898.42

    Alan Phipps Darr, et al., ‘Recent Acquisitions (2007-15) of European sculpture and decorative arts at the Detroit Institute of Arts’, The Burlington Magazine, June 2016, pp. 501-12, fig. XXI

  • Notes

    This iconic design, one of the best known from Mackintosh’s oeuvre, was created in 1897 for Miss Cranston’s Argyle Tea Rooms in Glasgow. Billcliffe (loc. cit) has eloquently described the chair’s significance: ‘It is the first of the high-backed chairs, a motif which became Mackintosh’s own … The high backs have no practical function, other than in the context of the whole room [where, when it] was empty of people the chairs stood like sentinels at the tables …’. Mackintosh’s designs for the Argyle Tea Room chair are in the collection of Glasgow University (see Billcliffe, op. cit., D.1897.24).

    A second chair, from the same source, is in a private collection.