Washbowl c.1910. Designed by Joseph Maria Olbrich. On display at 78 Derngate.

This washbowl was acquired for the 78 Derngate collection on 13th August 2014. Purchased at auction in Edinburgh ( bidder Rob Kendall ), the bowl is, as of 2015, displayed in the Guest Bedroom of 78 Derngate and can be viewed by visitors to the house.

The decision to acquire this bowl is based on its similarity to one which appears in photographs taken by W.J Bassett-Lowke of the room around 1920. These show a bowl, matching jug and pail all of similar decoration. There is no currently available provenance for the purchased bowl. The fate of the original bowl is unknown but the pail is in the collection of The Hunterian Museum and Art Gallery along with the original bedroom furniture suite. Text from the auction listing ( see below ) attributes the design of the bowl to Joseph Maria Olbrich an Austrian architect and co-founder of the Vienna Secession. Amongst other notable buildings Olbrich was also the designer of the Secession Building ( 1897 ) in Vienna. 

The acquisition of the bowl for 78 Derngate necessitated appropriate display and to this end a replica base section of Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s washstand design for the room was commissioned from Professor Jake Kaner. This was completed in April 2015. In late 2018 the two remaining sections of the replica washstand ensemble were completed by Professor Kaner, the silk-lined splashback and wall mirror. The entire set can now also be viewed by public visitors.

Prof. Jake Kaner pictured at 78 Derngate with replica wash stand base and washbowl displayed. April 2015. Photo: Barbara Floyer

Professor Jake Kaner pictured with his replica of Charles Rennie Mackintosh-designed washstand in the Guest Bedroom of 78 Derngate April 2015. The, then recently acquired, washbowl is displayed. Photograph: Barbara Floyer

Professor Jake Kaner’s replica of the Charles Rennie Mackintosh-designed washstand wall mirror in the Guest Bedroom of 78 Derngate November 2018. Photograph: David Walsh

Auction listing text 2014 – source: Lyon & Turnbull Edinburgh

The design attributed to Joseph Maria Olbrich, the basin of circular form, printed blue on white with a chequered band design, printed marks DUSSELDORF/ G/ DEC. 1539/ GESCHUTZT
41.5cm diameter
Estimate £400-600

Literature: Billcliffe, Roger ‘Charles Rennie Mackintosh: The Complete Furniture, Furniture Drawings & Interior Designs’, Moffatt 2009, page 272, illus. 1916N and page 285, 1916.47 where the matching slop pail is illustrated.
Note: A washset of this design appears in contemporary photographs of the bedroom at 78 Derngate, remodelled in 1916-17 by Charles Rennie Mackintosh for W. J. Bassett-Lowke.

Auction listing accessed 28-6-18 link.

Image and information reproduced by kind permission of Lyon & Turnbull.

Clicking on the catalogue number links below will take you to the Hunterian website where further information about the original Guest Bedroom suite items may be available. 

The Hunterian Museum and Art Gallery catalogue information. 

Dressing table and wash stand, for the guest bedroom, 78 Derngate, Northampton. Catalogue number: GLAHA:52824

China bucket, from 78 Derngate, Northampton. Catalogue number: GLAHA:52962


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