Object of the month

This month visitors to 78 Derngate can see a fabulous engraved half Hunter gold pocket watch which was presented to the very first employee of Bassett-Lowke Ltd on completion of 25 years service to the company. William (Bill) Rowe received the watch from W.J Bassett-Lowke and Harry Franklin at Christmas 1925.

More Mackintosh at 78 Derngate

The Charles Rennie Mackintosh designed designed Guest Bedroom at 78 Derngate has an exciting new addition.

Following our recent appeal, and thanks to the generosity of The Friends of 78 Derngate, we've been able to commission Jake Kaner from Buckinghamshire New University in High Wycombe to make a replica of the washstand which originally stood in the corner of the room. The washstand is made of oak with a blue and black chequer decoration on the edges. The design matches the other furniture in the room and shows Mackintosh's use of the square in both a decorative and structural manner. The original washstand is on display at The Hunterian Art Gallery in Glasgow where a replica room setting of the Guest Bedroom has been created.

Jake has made all the replica Mackintosh furniture at 78 Derngate and has worked with us from the start of the restoration. We were delighted that he was able to create another piece of exceptional quality for the house. In Mr Bassett-Lowke’s time a Joseph Maria Olbrich - designed bowl stood on the washstand. Pictured on our new washstand is an identical bowl acquired at auction in Edinburgh last year.

Visitors to 78 Derngate are now able to view the new washstand on display.

Bassett-Lowke models come home

We were delighted, in December, to receive a generous donation from Ruth I Johns who was the daughter of Gilbert Thomas; a lifelong friend of W.J Bassett-Lowke (patron of Charles Rennie Mackintosh and former owner of 78 Derngate). Mr Thomas, fittingly, had an amazing model railway layout featuring several Bassett-Lowke items. He was also the author of a book entitled "Paddington to Seagood – The Story of a Model Railway" in which his friend W.J is featured. Pictured here are Mr and Mrs Ellison who kindly travelled, on behalf of Ms Johns, from their Derbyshire home to present a Bassett-Lowke passenger coach, guards’ van, coal shed building and track / buffer section to us. These great items are now on display at 78 Derngate and available for free public viewing.

The bowl is in the building

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Here's Rob Kendall, Chairman of The Friends of 78 Derngate and ace auction bidder, showing off our latest acquisition in its new home, the Guest Bedroom at 78 Derngate. The washbowl, very similar to the Bassett-Lowke original from 1916, is attributed to Joseph Maria Olbrich. Olbrich was a co-founder of the Viennese Secession and also designed the Secession Building on Friedrichstraße. Mackintosh exhibited in this very building in 1900.

Thanks to a follower on Twitter we were alerted to its listing for auction at Lyon and Turnbull in Edinburgh, where Rob happily was also attending The Festival. The original Bassett-Lowke owned washbowl was displayed on the Mackintosh-designed washstand in the Guest Bedroom. The washstand and a ceramic pail, very similar in design to our new bowl are now in the collection of The Hunterian Art Gallery in Glasgow along with the original suite of bedroom furniture. Visitors to 78 Derngate will be able to see the new bowl on display in the house from 17th August 2014. Further information can be seen on our Facebook page.