Photocall 11.30am 19th June 2013 The Lighthouse, 11 Mitchell St,  Glasgow G1 3NU

A long lost music cabinet designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh has been found after 115 years, when it was recognised at a Perthshire country auction in January. The mahogany cabinet is coming back to Glasgow to be displayed for public viewing at Mackintosh’s The Lighthouse, Scotland’s Centre for Design and Architecture, for a year.

John Cowie and Jonathan Conkey, owners of The Glasgow Guild, discovered the antique on one of their country auction trips. Mr. Cowie commented; “We happened to be viewing a sale in Perthshire when we came across the cabinet, which we initially thought must be of the ‘GlasgowSchool’. We both felt it was something special and after some research we were pleased to find it was designed by the great man himself.”

Since the auction, further research has confirmed the provenance. The original watercolour of the cabinet design of 1898 is in the Hunterian Art Gallery and is also mentioned in the definitive book on Mackintosh by Roger Billcliffe, where it is described as ‘not known if executed’. The last time the cabinet had been seen would have been in the 1950’s.

Baillie Liz Cameron, Executive Member for Jobs and the Economy at Glasgow City Council, who own The Lighthouse building, said: “We are so excited and thrilled that this lost Charles Rennie Mackintosh music cabinet will go on public show for the first time in 115 years in Glasgow. This is a perfect fit to have this beautiful Mackintosh piece of furniture being displayed in Mackintosh’s iconic Lighthouse building. I am sure, like me, all lovers of Mackintosh will take the opportunity to see this rare piece during its year at The Lighthouse.”

The exhibition will be open to the public from Friday, 21 June and The Lighthouse will have the cabinet on loan for a year.

Background about the cabinet

The patron and person who commissioned the cabinet, Mrs Pickering, was a member of the Anderson family, who owned Scotland’s largest department store, The Royal Polytechnic.

The Pickering’s moved to Dumfriesshire and it was there in the 1950’s that this piece was last seen at auction. This new discovery once again shows the genius of Mackintosh’s designs in another genre and shows a rare example of high level cabinet making.

Exhibition: 21 June 2013

Private and press preview: 20 June 2013


For media enquiries:

For The Lighthouse – Laura Sutherland, Aura PR

T: 0141 337 6712 / 07764 936 840 E: Tw: @laurafromaura

For Glasgow Guild the cabinet and its history – Philip Gregory

M: 07767668400

Notes to editors:

  • Interviews available on request with John Cowie and Ian Elder
  • Hi-res images available on request
  • For further information about The Lighthouse visit