Designed 1895, dark-stained pine, clear and blue leaded glass, glazed ceramic tiles, handbeaten patinated steel, handbeaten and painted pewter.
631⁄2in. (161.5cm.) height; 118in. (300cm.) width; 17in. (43cm.) depth
This cabinet was acquired around the turn of the century by James Turnbull Croll, the present owner's late grandfather. The bookcase was possibly designed for Gladsmuir, the home of William Davidson, an early patron of Charles Rennie Mackintosh, who was known to have accepted a less elaborate version from Mackintosh in 1896-98 (illustrated Billcliffe Cat. No.1897.2). The present cabinet was first illustrated in Dekorative Kunst in 1898. Prior to its chance discovery in 1990, this previously-considered unexecuted design had been known only through the Dekorative Kunst illustration.
This accomplished and well-proportioned design incorporates a number of decorative features, to include the ceramic inlay, leaded glass, and the beaten decorative pewter panel, incorporating Mackintosh's first use of the peacock motif, that prefigure their use in later designs. Concurrent with the date of execution of this cabinet were the designs for wall stencils for the Buchanan Street Tearooms, 1896, which employed similar stylised foliate and peacock motifs.
Lit: Roger Billcliffe, Charles Rennie Mackintosh, The Complete Furniture, Furniture Drawings and Interior Designs, New York, 1979, p. 34, Cat. No. 1895.4