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Charles Rennie Mackintosh Ebonized Ash Folding Oval Table DS1, 1970s

$3,431.5120% Off


Charles Rennie Mackintosh ebonized ash folding oval table DS.1 Alivar, 1970s Prestigious, oval table in black colored ash with two hinged, folding sides, model: 322 D.S.1, a design by the Scottish designer Charles Rennie Mackintosh dating from 1918, produced by Cassina in 1975. Charles Rennie Mackintosh was a Scottish architect, watercolorist, and designer, who played an important role in the turn-of-the-century Post-Impressionist, Arts & Crafts, and Art Nouveau movements. Born in 1868 in the Industrial town of Glasgow, Mackintosh became interested in design and architecture at a young age. At fifteen, he enrolled in the Glasgow School of Art, where he befriended Herbert McNair (1868-1955), along with sisters Frances (1873-1921) and Margaret (1864-1933) Macdonald, his future wife. The foursome collaborated on designs for furniture, metalwork, and illustrations, developing a highly distinctive array of motifs, including abstracted female figures and swirling lines, reminiscent of illustrator Aubrey Beardsley. The aesthetic was deemed eerie (or “emo” in today’s parlance) by many of their contemporaries, who called Mackintosh and his group the “Spook School.” History has redeemed them, however, and their penchant for romantic and refined stylization has since been renamed “The Glasgow School” of the international Art Nouveau style. In 1889, Mackintosh became an apprentice at the architectural firm Honeyman & Kreppie, where he made partner in 1901. Using a simple and unique vocabulary of roses, geometric patterns, and attenuated lines, Mackintosh’s designs demonstrated a break from traditional Victorian architecture at the time, as he believed that architects should have the artistic freedom to design as they like. His inspiration came from Celtic and Japanese art, the Scottish Baronial style, as well as progressive art and architecture theorists, like William R. Lethaby (1857-1931), Charles Voysey (1857-1941), Richard Norman Shaw (1831-1912), Augustus Pugin (1812-1852), and John Ruskin (1819-1900). Mackintosh's architectural projects include the Glasgow Herald Building (1894) and several buildings for his alma mater, the Glasgow School of Art (1986-1909). Mackintosh was also famously commissioned by patron Catherine Cranston to design the Willow Tearoom interiors (1897-1917) and furnishings, which include the Argyle Chair (1897) and Willow Chair (1904). For his other patron, W.W. Blackie, Mackintosh designed the iconic Hill House Chair (1902), which was heavily influenced by Japanese design. Unfortunately, Glasgow was not large enough to support the fame and recognition that Mackintosh coveted, so he sought out other places to work, such as Germany and Austria, where he was very well received. He was commissioned to design the Warndorfer Music Salon (1901) in Austria, as well as the Mackintosh Room at the 1902 Turin International Exhibition in Italy. Mackintosh died in London in 1928 unware of the impact his designs would bear on future generations. By the end of the 20th century, he had posthumously achieved his much desired fame. Today, he is recognized as a key Pioneer in modernist design.


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About the Designer

Charles Rennie Mackintosh

At the turn of the 20th century, the Scottish architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh created a singular, wholly original design style that was both lyrical and sleekly modern. Within his architectural schemes for schools, private homes and restaurants, Mackintosh — frequently working in collaboration with his wife, the artist Margaret Macdonald — invented an aesthetic that blends the organic flow of the Art Nouveau style and the honest simplicity of the English Arts & Crafts movement. Mackintosh was born into a working-class Glasgow family, the fourth of the 11 children of a police clerk and his wife. At age 15, Mackintosh began to take night classes at the Glasgow School of Art — where he would study until 1894 — and the following year started an apprenticeship with local architect John Hutchison. At the GSA, Mackintosh befriended Macdonald, her sister, Frances, and fellow architecture student Herbert McNair. Together they formed a graphic design team known as the Four, and were admired for their illustrations featuring sinuous botanical forms and sylph-like women. Around the same time, Mackintosh was hired by the architectural firm Honeyman and Keppie. where he drafted the company’s winning design for a new GSA building. The structure, with its brooding, asymmetrical facade punctuated by soaring studio windows, would be his architectural masterwork. By 1900, Mackintosh was designing houses and began the interiors for a group of Glasgow tea parlors in which he and Macdonald would produce some of the most alluring, lushly graphic decors of the era. Mackintosh’s work became widely influential on the continent, particularly among Josef Hoffmann, Koloman Moser and other member of the Vienna Secession movement. His work on private homes and tearooms generated the furniture designs for which Mackintosh is best known today. These include the Hill House chair, with its latticed back; the Argyle Street Tea Room chair, which features an oval head rail with a cutout that resembles a bird in flight; and several others — all instantly recognizable for their stunning tall backs. Mackintosh’s furniture works well in both traditional and modern interiors, though by virtue of both its familiarity and striking lines it tends to stand out. Because he was much more esteemed in Europe than in Britain, relatively few antique Mackintosh works survive, and those that have are museum pieces. Recently produced examples of his designs are widely available — notably, the Italian firm Cassina has been making fine Mackintosh pieces since the early 1970s. As you will see on these pages, the furniture of Charles Rennie Mackintosh is ever intriguing and engaging. His work is a historical touchstone that would be welcome in the home of any modern design aficionado.
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Located in Roma, Italy
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