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).

A report on the condition of Westdel was produced as part of the Mackintosh Buildings Survey, led by the Charles Rennie Mackintosh Society and carried out between 2015 and 2016. 5

Authorship: The bedroom is known from Mackintosh's drawings and from photographs published in Dekorative Kunst in March 1902. 6

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: A copy of the report (MBS19) is held by the Charles Rennie Mackintosh Society, Mackintosh Queen's Cross, 870 Garscube Road, Glasgow G20 7EL. The Mackintosh Buildings Survey was funded by The Monument Trust.

6: 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.