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Furniture > Chairs

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'Argyle' chair by Charles Rennie Mackintosh, 1898 - 1899
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Object statement
Chair, 'Argyle', oak/ rush, designed for the Argyle Street Tearooms, Glasgow, by Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Glasgow, Scotland, 1898-1899
This unusually high backed chair was designed by the Scottish architect, Charles Rennie Mackintosh for Catherine Cranston's Argyle Street Tearooms in Glasgow around 1898-1899. The design for the furniture of the tearooms was the first major private commission of Mackintosh's career. The Argyle chair was shown at the Eighth Exhibition of the Vienna Secession, Austria in 1900 where Mackintosh's highly individual style strongly influenced and contributed to the development of work at the Wiener Werkstatte.

The attenuated lines and exaggerated height of its back anticipated many of Mackintosh's later designs. It is the first of his high back chairs to feature the top rail as an emblematic iconic symbol. The back uprights support an enlarged oval headrest with a fretted stylised flying swallow shape. Mackintosh raised the height of the chairs in order that the furniture make a dramatic statement within the room.

Mackintosh's concentration on the formal qualities of the furniture within the interior very much anticipated the spirit of 20th century modernism. Although he was not as appreciated at home as he was on the continent (he died in relative poverty in London in 1928), his architecture and design went on to be revered worldwide and is appreciated for forming an important bridge between the 19th and 20th centuries, and between England and continental Europe.
Commissioned for use in the Luncheon Room of Miss Cranston's Argyle Street Tearooms, Glasgow c1897. Examples also included in Mackintosh's flat and in his contribution to the Vienna Secession Exhibition 1900.

Acquired by previous owners from a private collection in Glasgow.

 This text content licensed under CC BY-NC.

Description
Chair, 'Argyle', oak/ rush, designed for the Argyle Street Tearooms, Glasgow, by Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Glasgow, Scotland, 1898-1899

High backed chair of dark stained oak with a rush seat. The top rail is elliptical in shape and extends between and beyond the stiles. It is decorated with a stylised bird motif pierced in an arch across the centre top. The plain double back splats extend from the bottom curve of the top rail to the stretcher halfway down the length of the legs. Long narrow stiles commence from a tapered top, level with the top of the top rail and extend down and widen to form the back legs. The front legs are slightly tapering. The stretcher between the back legs consists of a wide, plain, panel with an arch cut from the bottom, and extends down almost to the base of the legs. There are also double rod stretchers between the front legs and between the front and back legs. The drop-in rush seat is shaped and set above arched seat rails. Stamped on the left front seat block is "23".
Marks
Stamped, on left front seat block "23"
A10033
Production date
1898 - 1899
Height
1365 mm
Width
510 mm
Depth
465 mm

 This text content licensed under CC BY-SA.
Acquisition credit line
Purchased 1984
Subjects
+ Interior design
+ Architecture
Short persistent URL
Concise link back to this object: https://ma.as/168257
Cite this object in Wikipedia
Copy and paste this wiki-markup:

{{cite web |url=https://ma.as/168257 |title='Argyle' chair by Charles Rennie Mackintosh |author=Powerhouse Museum |accessdate=5 December 2016 |publisher=Powerhouse Museum, Australia}}


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