Lyon & Turnbull’s Decorative Arts: Design since 1860 auction on November 2nd-3rd includes important works by both Archibald Knox (1864-1933) and Charles Rennie Mackintosh (1868-1928). The Live Online auction will be on view in the company’s historic Edinburgh saleroom.
Archibald Knox’s designs for Liberty & Co. are very well documented, especially his designs for their Tudric and Cymric ranges (top of page). They enjoy a global reputation. Famously, Hollywood actor Brad Pitt is a fan (he even called his son Knox).
Estimated at £20,000-30,000 is a rare extra-size Tudric pewter and abalone clock, c.1900 – a minimalist form thought to have been inspired by the Celtic standing stones of Knox’s native Isle of Man. At 25cm high this piece is unusually larger than its smaller counterpart, which typically measures around 16cm high. Knox is known to have produced only a few extra-sized clocks during his Liberty period and it may be that this rare example was produced as a special commission.
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The sale includes a previously unrecorded oak gate-leg table by Charles Rennie Mackintosh. It dates from c.1910 when, in addition to the famous commissions for Miss Cranston tearooms in Glasgow, Mackintosh created a series of furniture designs for his friend and collaborator, the decorator William Douglas.
Made to a traditional Georgian form, a characteristic Mackintosh chequerboard motif is stencilled across the piece. A companion table made for Douglas is pictured in Roger Billcliffe’s Charles Rennie Mackintosh, The Complete Furniture, Furniture Drawings and Interior Designs (2009). This new discovery comes for sale from the collection of Angus and Alison Hill with an estimate of £8,000 – £12,000.
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It is one of two pieces of Mackintosh furniture expected to attract international interest.
In the wake of the success in Glasgow, in 1914 Mackintosh and his wife Margaret Macdonald moved to Suffolk. His main client in this period was Wenman Joseph Bassett Lowke (1877-1953), founder of the toymakers Bassett Lowke, whose house 78 Derngate, Northampton was remodelled and furnished in the modern taste.
At 78 Derngate, Mackintosh’s style evolved to focus on broad planes of polished and waxed timber enhanced by abalone inlay. His production methods changed too. Unable to supervise the manufacture of these pieces, Mackintosh provided drawings that were worked up by German craftspeople working on the Isle of Man.
A bedside cabinet, the pair to another in the collection of the Victoria & Albert Museum dated c.1916, came by descent until it was last sold at auction in 1988. It has a guide of £10,000-15,000.
Decorative Arts: Design since 1860
02-03 November 2020 – 10am – Live Online
Auction Viewing by appointment from 29th October at 33 Broughton Place, Edinburgh EH1 3RR
Browse & Bid at www.lyonandturnbull.com
*estimates are subject to fees.
See also: Continuing the Illustrious History of Furniture Making