14 Apr 2021
August 6, 2012 - Filed under: Antique Chairs — Harriet

A pair of ebonised antique armchairs by Charles Rennie Mackintosh , with an estimate of £20,000 – £25,000, will feature in a sale of Arts & Crafts furniture from the home of New York TV magnate Don Taffner.

Donald Taffner may be an unfamiliar name to people in the Ribble Valley, but together with his wife Eleanor the native New Yorker had a long association with the British television industry. He brought iconic British classics like The Benny Hill Show to American audiences and produced the long-running BBC sit-coms My Family and As Time Goes By.

With his first job being the mail room of New York’s William Morris Agency, Don Taffner seemed destined to develop a passion for Arts & Crafts furniture. In the 1980s the Taffners became involved with the Glasgow School of Art (GSA), developing a taste for the works of Charles Rennie Mackintosh and the “Glasgow Four”, which they collected avidly. Life members of the Charles Rennie Mackintosh Society and staunch supporters of the GSA, they introduced the Glasgow School to an American audience, supporting Glasgow Museums events in the US.

Don Taffner passed away in 2011 – a year after his wife – and the contents of their Greenwich Village home, including drawings, paintings, Arts & Crafts furniture and decorative works by the Glasgow Four, will be auctioned at Edinburgh in September. However, antique dealers in Lancashire have antique dining chairs in the style of C.R Mackintosh for sale right now, with no buyer’s commission to pay.

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