A project begun in 2015 with the purchase at auction of a ceramic washbowl has been completed almost four years later. When Charles Rennie Mackintosh designed the Guest Bedroom of 78 Derngate a washstand for the use of guests was included in the scheme.
W.J Bassett-Lowke’s photographs of the room which were published in ‘The Ideal Home’ in 1920 show that the washstand was replete with distinctive ceramic ware in a secessionist style. Research has shown that Joseph Maria Olbrich, indeed the very designer of the Secessionsgebäude (Secession Building) in Vienna is the designer of the washbowl. Mackintosh and Olbrich met on several occasions and his sympathies with the Secession and Wiener Werkstätte are reflected in the design of the Guest Bedroom - a ‘Gesamtkunstwerk’ and the other Mackintosh work at 78 Derngate.
The beautiful washstand made by Professor Jake Kaner from Nottingham Trent University was completed with the addition of the final component, the oak, glass and silk splashback panel just before Christmas. Funded by The Friends of 78 Derngate it’s a splendid recreation that can be enjoyed by visitors to the house this coming 2019 season and beyond.