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Writing desk by Mackintosh

Ebonised mahogany writing desk (closed),  made by Charles Rennie Mackintosh, 1905

Ebonised mahogany writing desk (closed), made by Charles Rennie Mackintosh, 1905

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This writing desk, designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh c.1905, is considered to be one of Mackintosh's most accomplished pieces of furniture design. It was designed for the drawing room at The Hill House in Helensburgh. The ebonised wood surface of the cabinet is inlaid with luxurious materials that reflect the composite shapes of the desk: squares of mother-of-pearl on the inside of the square doors and dotted lines of ivory along the inner curves at the top of the desk. The result is a piece of furniture with a proportional and musical harmony. The desk takes on a different character depending on whether it is opened or closed. When opened fully, its shape has been compared to that of a formally displayed Japanese kimono.

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