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Argyle Mackintosh: High Height For a Unique Chair

The argyle mackintosh is an unusually high backed chair, designed by the Scottish architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh for Catherine Cranston's Argyle Street Tearooms in Glasgow around 1898-1899. This kind of chair was very important in the career of the Scottish designer, because the design for the furniture of the tearooms was the first major private commission of his career. The Argyle chair has a good success and was shown at the Eighth Exhibition of the Vienna Secession, Austria in 1900.
 
This Exhibition was very important in the story of the design, because it’s the moment ant the place  where Mackintosh's highly individual style strongly influenced and contributed to the development of the successive works in furniture and design.
 
Mackintosh's concentration on the formal qualities of the furniture within the interior very much anticipated the spirit of 20th century modernism. Although he was not as appreciated at home as he was on the continent (he died in relative poverty in London in 1928), his architecture and design went on to be revered worldwide and is appreciated for forming an important bridge between the 19th and 20th centuries, and between England and continental Europe. He was a pathfinder in the world of the design, anticipated the evolutions of the style and the trends of the new century.


The argyle mackintosh is characterized by attenuated lines and exaggerated height of its back: these are the signs that anticipated many of Mackintosh's later designs. It is the first of his high back chairs to feature the top rail as an emblematic iconic symbol. The back uprights support an enlarged oval headrest with a fretted stylised flying swallow shape. But why Mackintosh raised the height of the chairs?  He wanted that the furniture make a dramatic statement within the room, not to risk to disappear between people and tables.
 
The original argyle mackintosh was a high backed chair of dark stained oak with a rush seat. The top rail is elliptical in shape and extends between and beyond the stiles. It is decorated with a stylised bird motif pierced in an arch across the centre top. The plain double back splats extend from the bottom curve of the top rail to the stretcher halfway down the length of the legs. Long narrow stiles commence from a tapered top, level with the top of the top rail and extend down and widen to form the back legs.
 
The front legs are slightly tapering. The stretcher between the back legs consists of a wide, plain, panel with an arch cut from the bottom, and extends down almost to the base of the legs. There are also double rod stretchers between the front legs and between the front and back legs. The drop-in rush seat is shaped and set above arched seat rails. Stamped on the left front seat block is "23".

If you want to buy for your home or your office the argyle mackintosh you can find the perfect copy of the original model by Charles Rennie Mackintosh: the used material is wood, like the original, usually ash black stained, but you can choose the material and the colour of the seat, between fabric or leather, and in a big variety of colours. When you choose the argyle mackintosh you are not choosing only a chair, comfortable and stable, but an object that made the history of furniture and design.
 
The style of the argyle mackintosh can  change the look of any room, with a glimpse of elegance, because the attenuated lines and the high back. The appearance of the backrest in original and stand out between the furniture: so the argyle mackintosh can never pass unnoticed, in every room. The silouhette design (some say that it represents a flying bird) is still so popular today, despite it was created more than a century before.
 
Choose your argyle mackintosh and buy for your home or office a piece of history, a chair with a look still modern and original, solid, comfortable and you will find much more than a chair, but a really artwork of design, that will give much worth at your home.
 
 

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