This Arts and Crafts music cabinet, entered into a recent sale at Robertson’s of Kinbuck, near Dunblane, without reserve, turned out to be a hitherto lost design by Charles Rennie Mackintosh.
The consignor was a local lady who had stored it in her garage for several years. Her grandmother had purchased it from a Dumfries saleroom sometime in the 1950s although its significance was never appreciated.
Research shows that a watercolour for the design (available online) is in the collection of the Hunterian Museum and Art Gallery in Glasgow. Signed and dated 1898, it is inscribed Music Cabinet for Mrs Pickering, Braxfield, Lanark.
A stencilled or embroidered panel would have covered the shelves below the stained glass.
Mackintosh produced cabinets with the same distinctive cornice for other clients during the same year, including those made for the Edinburgh printer Alex Seggie.
After vigorous bidding in the saleroom on January 24, the Kinbuck cabinet was bought by a trade buyer for £36,000 (plus 15% buyer's premium).