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A rare re-discovered candlestick sold for £65,000 in our Decorative Arts sale on the 10th November 2010. The candlestick was designed by Margaret Macdonald, later the wife of Charles Rennie Mackintosh, and her sister Frances Macdonald, later the wife of Herbert MacNair.
This rare candlestick was made in their studio at 128 Hope Street, Glasgow, where they resided for a brief but creative period after completing their time of study at the Glasgow School of Art in 1894.
The candlestick belonged to the late Linda Rose Gallagher who was given the piece in the 1970’s, and amassed a large collection of Glasgow metalware in her lifetime. A spokesperson for the family said: “This is a great result and we hope that whoever has bought it will treasure it as much as we have over the years.”
It is an exceptional example of what has been referred to as “the poetic metalwork of the Macdonald sisters”, who here exhibit dexterous workmanship in transforming sheeted copper into a landscape of rounded foliate forms, anticipating the abstract, bulb-cum-flower forms that would dominate both artists’ later works. Margaret and her sister Frances were celebrated in their time by many of their peers, and they both went on to collaborate successfully with their husbands. Mackintosh was reported to have said of his wife: "Margaret has genius, I have only talent." Together they formed the loose collective of the Glasgow School known as ‘The Four’.
John Mackie, Head of Decorative Arts at Lyon & Turnbull said: “This candlestick is an exciting and significant discovery as it embodies the many stylistic innovations that were achieved during a profoundly creative and progressive period of decorative arts and design, and offers a rare insight into what was a largely undocumented but undeniably influential collaboration between Margaret and Frances Macdonald.”
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