I am getting excited about the upcoming design week in NY, which comes to offer the best of the best in design, and one could find in the various fairs objects that may be seen only once in our lifetime. One of these rare gems will be presented at the new TEFAF New York, which will open at the Park Avenue Armory next month, by Parisian dealer Oscar Graff. It is a chair from the original and iconic Catherine Cranston’s Argyle Street Tea Rooms (above), which Glasgow-based architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh designed in 1898. It is the only example of this design surviving chairs from this commission still in private hands, the others can be found in the museum collections of the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh; the Toyota Municipal Museum of Art near Nagoya, Japan; and at the Glasgow University. The collaboration between Mackintosh and Miss Cranston, as she was often called, resulted in the interiors of four tearooms that had come to shape some of the most celebrated commissions by the architect. An entrepreneur, Cranston initiated the idea of establishing art tearooms, where people could socialize in non-alcoholic venues, very much in vogue in Glasgow during the years of the Fin de siecle. The Argyle Street Tearoom for which Mackintosh designed this chair consisted of billiard rooms and smoking rooms in the Victorian tradition, to where he created five examples of this chair, which was designed in the tradition of the Arts and Crafts Movement to which he subscribed in the early years of his career. This tearoom was also to where Mackintosh first designed his seminal high-backed chair. A true museum-quality object.
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