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    Top Marks for DT Students' 'Mackintosh' Smoker's Cabinet

    A Charles Rennie Mackintosh Smoker’s Cabinet recreated by a group of Kimbolton Sixth Form students is set to take “pride of place” in Northampton’s 78 Derngate museum.

    Kimbolton School Design Technology Sixth Form Students' Replica Mackintosh Smoker's CabinetA Charles Rennie Mackintosh Smoker’s Cabinet recreated by a group of Kimbolton School Sixth Form students is set to take “pride of place” in Northampton’s 78 Derngate museum.

    Museum representatives visited the School yesterday to unveil the stunning replica, with its striking black and yellow geometric design. The original cabinet, on display at London’s V&A Museum, was made in 1916 for the Bassett-Lowke family for their newly refurbished house, 78 Derngate. It is the only house in England designed by Mackintosh and the architect's final major commission.

    It sat in the front living room, where the theme was based around the colours of black, yellow and white - a design favoured by Basset-Lowke, who was colour-blind to all but yellow. The original was constructed of wood to resemble ebony and the inlaid yellow triangles and diamonds were Erinoid plastic (a material derived from goat's milk).

    Whilst the original Smoker's Cabinet was a handsome home for tobacco and pipes, the Government's announcement this week of plans to bring in plain cigarette packaging highlights the change in attitude towards smoking since Mackintosh's day.

    Twelve of our Upper Sixth Form Design Technology students spent part of the autumn term working on the cabinet, which will now be on display at the house in time for 78 Derngate’s centenary celebrations in 2016.

    Mr Les Patterson, Secretary of the 78 Derngate Northampton Trust, said: “We have a photograph of the original cabinet being used by relatives of the Basset-Lowke family, with the men in First World War uniforms. This replica Smoker’s Cabinet is a really great addition to the house that will take pride of place and intrigue our visitors.”

    Mr Kevin Spencer, Head of Design Technology, added: “Our Upper Sixth Form students undertake a group project like this each year. It gives them the opportunity to combine the use of traditional craft skills with more modern tools, such as laser technology, working as part of a team to a deadline - all good experience for their future careers.”

    Previous DT group projects have included a replica of the Kimbolton Cabinet, now on display in the Castle’s Red Room, as well as two replica Mackintosh 'Hill House' chairs, both on long-term loan to 78 Derngate.

    If you can’t make it to Northampton to view the cabinet, there’s another chance to catch it at Kimbolton when it temporarily returns to the School in June for our annual DT Exhibition.