Cf: The Studio Yearbook of Decorative Art, London, 1908, p. 61, pl. A27 (similar example illustrated)
See: Roger Billcliffe, Charles Rennie Mackintosh: The Complete Furniture, Furniture Drawings and Interior Designs, London, 1976, pp. 224 and 247, No. 1919.7 (Mackintosh's design for a mantle clock for the guest bedroom at 78 Derngate, Northampton)
Otto Prutscher (1880-1949) was one of the second generation designers of the Vienna Secession who were to have a tangible influence on the work of Charles Rennie Mackintosh after 1906. Mackintosh's first appearance in Vienna was in 1900 when he and Margaret Macdonald, Frances Macdonald and Herbert MacNair designed an exhibit for the eighth exhibition of the Vienna Secession. Moser, Hoffmann and Olbrich were all affected by Mackintosh's work at this period, but were sufficiently advanced in their own careers to integrate his ideas alongside their own. Pupils of Hoffmann, however, such as Prutscher, reacted much more positively to Mackintosh and it could be said that the real school of Mackintosh followers was among Prutscher and his contemporaries rather than in Scotland and England.
As so often happens in such situations, Mackintosh began to learn from his disciples. By 1907 Prutscher, for example, was widely recognised and was often illustrated in the Austrian, German and British periodicals of the day. The son of a carpenter he designed furniture for Thonet, as well as many pieces of glass, ceramic and textiles for the companies inspired by the success of the Wiener Werksttte. A clock very similar in form to this example was illustrated in The Studio Yearbook of Decorative Art in 1908, where Mackintosh almost certainly saw it. Like this lot it relied for its effect on careful and formal massing offset by the delicacy and precision of its inlaid woods and mother-of-pearl. Twelve years later, in 1920, Mackintosh was to return to the design as inspiration for a mantel clock for the Guest bedroom at 78 Derngate, Northampton (British Museum).
We are grateful to Roger Billcliffe for his assistance in preparing this catalogue entry.