Description & Technical information

A PAIR OF LADDERBACK CHAIRS for Miss Cranston's Willow Tea House in Glasgow

Designed by: Charles Rennie Mackintosh, 1903
Executed by: Alex Martin, 1903/05

Oak with dark green-brown stain, waxed, replaced cane, chairs are in good overall condition and were restored 15 years ago.

The chairs for the Willow Tea House are a successful symbiosis of traditional Scottish and avantgarde forms. Miss Cranston opened here elegant tea salon in Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow, in November of 1903, possibly slightly earlier. Most of the chairs were ordered in 1903.

Mackintosh had already designed a variant of the chair in 1893 for David Gauld and in 1901 as a bedroom chair for Windyhill. The contrast between the white décor and the dark staining of the chairs emphasised the remarkable lines of what is probably the most famous and successful Mackintosh chair.

Date:  1903/05
Period:  20th century
Medium: oak with dark green-brown stain, waxed
Dimensions: 104.5 x 44.5 x 38 cm (41¹/₈ x 17¹/₂ x 15 inches)
Provenance: Some of the chairs were auctioned in 1920 and the rest acquired by the Grosvenor Restaurant. They were resold in the 1950s. Our pair comes from a private collection in London.
Literature: R. Billcliffe, Charles Rennie Mackintosh, The Complete Furniture, Furniture Drawings & Interior Designs, London, 2009, p. 150 –153, ill. 1903.D, 1903.C, p. 157, ill. 1908.8; Die Kunst, Monatshefte für freie und angewandte Kunst, VIII. Jahrgang, XII, Munich, 1905, p. 257–273
Categories: Furniture