The Charles Rennie Mackintosh cabinet that sold for £11,000 at Willingham Auctions in Cambridge.

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Rennie Mackintosh serves up success

A cabinet designed by Scottish designer and architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh (1868- 1928) for a Victorian tea room businesswoman has sold for £11,000 at Willingham Auctions in Cambridge.

The oak upright cabinet was made for Catherine Cranston (1849-1934), who owned a chain of shops in Glasgow – such as the famous Willow Tea Rooms – and did much to help develop the model for such late 19th and early 20th century establishments.

A number of her premises were designed or decorated by Mackintosh.

He also redeco rated and designed new furniture for the mansion Hous’hill in Nitshill, where she lived with her husband John Cochrane.

The cabinet of fered on August 11 was originally one of a pair from the ‘Blue Bedroom’ of their home.

It was found in a house 10 miles from the saleroom and was consigned with no reserve.

Offered without a formal estimate (although pre-sale hopes were in excess of £6000), it was missing its original stained glass and mother of pearl inset and also had a dam aged handle.

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Museum of London buys city panorama

A large 19th century panorama of London, completed towards the end of the Napoleonic Wars, has entered the Museum of London’s permanent collec tion after the institution acquired it at a recent Sothe by’s auction.

The 20ft (6.1m) wide pano rama was made c.1815 by the French artist Pierre Prévost (1764-1823). The 360-degree view of the city in sunlight was completed from the tower of St Margaret’s near Westminster Abbey.


The 19th century panorama of London bought by the Museum of London at Sotheby’s.

Though the work in question is sizeable, it was actually a preparatory watercolour for an even larger work: a 98ft (30m) panorama that was exhibited in Paris in 1817. It was installed in a purpose-built, circular structure.

The Museum of London bought the watercolour for £250,000 (including buyer’s premium) at Sotheby’s sale of Old Master & British Works on Paper last month.

It was purchased with help from the Art Fund, the Aldama Foundation and various other donations.

Only one comparable work is known, a view that Prévost completed of Constantinople, which is in the collection of the Louvre.

Stolen bronze now returned to India

A 12th-century Chola bronze stolen from a museum in India nearly 60 years ago has been returned to the country after it was discovered at a London antiques fair earlier this year.

The model of a seated Vishnu was one of 14 statues taken from the Archaeological Museum in Nalanda in 1961. It had changed hands several times before it was unwittingly offered for sale and both the owner and the dealer agreed for it to be returned to India.


The Chola bronze which has now returned to India.

The sculpture – among the first of the 14 bronzes to be recovered – was identified in March by members of the Asso ciation for Research into Crimes Against Art and the India Pride Project, which aims to recover stolen artefacts.

DC Sophie Hayes, of the Metropolitan Police art and antiques unit, said: “This case has been a true example of cooperation between law enforcement, the trade and scholars.”

Victorian artists’ letters discovery

A large cache of letters from Victorian artists including Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828-82) has been consigned to Shropshire saleroom Trevanion & Dean.

The 66 letters were all writ ten to members of the Ionides family, a dynasty of British art patrons and collectors of Greek ancestry, and many of them are previously unrecorded. The auctioneers say they were unearthed in a routine house clearance.


Auctioneer Aaron Dean of Trevanion & Dean with one of the Victorian artists’ letters to be sold on September 15.

Most are addressed to Con stantine Alexander Ionides (1833-1900), who left more than 1000 paintings, drawings and prints to the Victoria & Albert Museum on his death.

The letters will be divided into 28 lots at the auction in Whitchurch on September 15 and collectively are estimated at £3000-5000.

First banknotes auction at DNW

The first auction to be held by the new stand-alone banknotes department at Dix Noonan Webb in London will take place on October 2.

Banknotes previously came under the umbrella of the coins department, but head of the new department Andrew Pat tison and specialist Thomasina Smith have set up a separate unit working with DNW’s banknotes consultant Michael O’Grady, who continues in this role.

In Numbers


The number of works by William ‘Billy’ Mumford that are being exhibited at The Bridge House Antiques Market in Longham near Bournemouth.

In 2012 Mumford was jailed for two years after admitting to creating up to 1000 forgeries.

According to the Bournemouth Echo, the pictures on show are original but ‘inspired by the works of famous artists’. They will carry marks and buyers will be given an official certificate.