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£1million desk and chair on display

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Mackintosh-writing_deskA STUNNING writing desk and its high-backed chair are on display together in Hill House in Helensburgh for the first time for decades — but only until the end of October.

The desk, worth at least £1 million, was designed in 1904 by Charles Rennie Mackintosh for Walter Blackie, the mansion’s owner, and is made from ebonised oak decorated with mother of pearl.  

It is the first time for decades the two items of furniture have been on show together.

Hill House property manager Lorna Hepburn said: “Mrs Blackie sat at this desk to write letters to family and friends, reply to social invitations and deal with any business concerning any charities that she was involved with.

 Mackintosh-desk-detail“The custom in the early 20th century was for the lady of the house to deal with her correspondence in the morning.

“Seeing these stunning pieces in pride of place in the drawing room is a great treat, and we look forward to sharing this with our visitors throughout the coming months.”

The desk was bought by Glasgow Museums and the National Trust for Scotland in 2005 for just under £1million, making it the world’s most expensive piece of 20th century furniture. In 1994 it was sold for a then world record £793,500.

It is brought to Hill House from Kelvingrove Museum from time to time, but the chair belongs to Glasgow Museums, and this is its first return to Hill House since the Trust took over in 1982.

Hill House in Upper Colquhoun Street is open daily from 1.30-5.30pm until October 31.

  • Images supplied by and reproduced with permission from the National Trust for Scotland for Places of Historic Interest or Natural Beauty.
Last Updated ( Saturday, 28 April 2012 10:47 )  

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Final Open Meeting

Mike-Davis-2-30.03.11Helensburgh Heritage Trust honorary member Mike Davis will talk about 'Curious Interconnections of the Mansions of Cowal' at the final winter meeting at Helensburgh Tennis Club on Wednesday March 25 at 7.30pm. Non-members will be most welcome.

Winter Talks 2014-15

  • Wednesday September 24 2014 — Peter McCaughey: Establishing Helensburgh's Open Air Museum
  • Wednesday October 29 — AGM at 7pm; Robert Layden: The 9th Battalion of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders in World War One
  • Wednesday November 26 — Ian McKellar: Parkhead and the Garden, Rosneath       

  • Wednesday January 28 2015 — Michael Gallagher: Reinventing Ruins — stories from Kilmahew and St Peter's Seminary
  • Wednesday February 25 — Tam Ward: Recent Discoveries by the North Clyde Archaelogical Society
  • Wednesday March 25 — Michael Davis: Curious Interconnections of the Mansions of Cowal

All meetings are in the upstairs meeting room at Helensburgh Tennis Club, Suffolk Street, at 7.30pm

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