Interiors for Westdel, 2 Queen's Place

Interiors for Westdel, 2 Queen's Place

Address: Glasgow G12 9DQ
Date: 1898
Client: Robert Maclehose
Authorship: Authorship category 1 (Mackintosh) (Mackintosh)

B/W photograph of bedroom, 1976

Mackintosh designed furniture and decoration for a second-floor bedroom and adjoining bathroom for Robert Maclehose, at his home, Westdel, 2 Queen's Place in the affluent West End district of Dowanhill. The imposing red-sandstone house was designed for Maclehose by George Washington Browne in around 1889 and extended by Alexander N. Paterson in 1896. 1 Robert and his brother, James, ran the publishing and bookselling firm James Maclehose & Sons founded by their father, and the business of their uncle, Robert Maclehose & Co. Ltd, printer to the University of Glasgow. 2

The furniture in the bedroom included the bed, a large wardrobe with repoussť metal panels and broad hinges, a tall shelf unit, and an upholstered settle fitted under the eaves of the dormer window, all of which were painted white. There was also a free-standing, white-painted dressing table and an elaborate metal light-fitting. A metal panel decorated with a peacock motif was fitted over the fireplace. Above the frieze rail the white wall was painted with a frieze of botanical motifs similar to that in the Bruckmann dining room. The adjoining bathroom was fitted with white-painted shelving and decorated with inlays of coloured glass.

The bedroom has been described as Mackintosh's first white room; the specific white is unknown but is likely to have been a toned white. Based on the forms of the furniture and style of decoration, the scheme has been dated to 1898. 3

This work appears to have been carried out as a private commission as there are no related entries in John Honeyman & Keppie's job books or cash book.

The house was bequeathed to the University of Glasgow by Maclehose, who died in 1907, with a life interest in the property for his sisters. The surviving Mackintosh furniture and fittings were removed to the University collection in 1975. 4

Drawings of the furniture and decoration for Westdel were exhibited at the Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts in 1899 under Mackintosh's name (702).

Authorship: The bedroom is known from Mackintosh's drawings and from photographs published in Dekorative Kunst in March 1902. 5

Status: Standing building; interiors removed

Current name: Westdel

Current use: Residential (2014)

Listing category: B (Listed as '2 Queens Place (Westdel), 10 Kinnoul Lane and 10 Crown Road North, (Royston); with boundary walls and gatepiers')

Historic Scotland/HB Number: 32579

RCAHMS Site Number: NS56NE 1996

Grid Reference: NS 56202 67207

Notes:

1: Elizabeth Williamson, Anne Riches and Malcolm Higgs, Buildings of Scotland: Glasgow, London: Penguin, 1990, p. 363.

2: George Eyre-Todd (ed.), 'James Maclehose', Who's Who in Glasgow in 1909, Glasgow: Gowans & Grey Ltd, p. 132.

3: Roger Billcliffe, Charles Rennie Mackintosh: The Complete Furniture, Furniture Drawings and Interior Designs, Moffat, Dumfriesshire: Cameron & Hollis, 4th edn, 2009, pp. 11–12, 51–5; Alan Crawford, Charles Rennie Mackintosh, London: Thames & Hudson, 1995, pp. 50–1.

4: Roger Billcliffe, Charles Rennie Mackintosh: The Complete Furniture, Furniture Drawings and Interior Designs, Moffat, Dumfriesshire: Cameron & Hollis, 4th edn, 2009, p. 51; The Hunterian, University of Glasgow: GLAHA 52574, GLAHA 52693, GLAHA 52699, GLAHA 53132, GLAHA 53132a–aa, GLAHA 53133.

5: The Hunterian, University of Glasgow: GLAHA 41106, GLAHA 41107, GLAHA 41108, GLAHA 41699, GLAHA 41700, GLAHA 41701, GLAHA 41702, GLAHA 41703; Dekorative Kunst, 5, March 1902, pp. 208–9.