The Silver Apples of the Moon by Margaret Macdonald Mackintosh (click on image to enlarge) UPDATE: IT SOLD FOR £115,250
THE Silver Apples of the Moon, a re-discovered watercolour by Margaret Macdonald Mackintosh, features at Christie’s sale of 20th Century Decorative Art & Design in London on October 25. As with so many Symbolist works, The Silver Apples of the Moon is inspired by poetry, taking its title from W. B. Yeats’ poem The Song of Wandering Aengus. This is a twilight scene depicting the poem’s character: “a glimmering girl, With apple blossom in her hair ….. The silver apples of the moon, The golden apples of the sun.”
Margaret Macdonald Mackintosh and W. B. Yeats had a common interest in mysticism and the occult, as well as being influenced by the Pre-Raphaelites. The Silver Apples of the Moon is known to have been exhibited in 1912 at the 33rd Annual Exhibition of The Royal Scottish Societies of Watercolours and subsequently in 1913 at the 52nd Exhibition Royal Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts.
Macdonald Mackintosh exhibited at the 1900 Vienna Secession, where she undoubtedly influenced the Secessionists Gustav Klimt and Josef Hoffmann. She was wife of pioneering Glasgow architect, interior decorator and painter Charles Rennie Mackintosh. The Silver Apples of the Moon is estimated at £50,000-£70,000.
Here is Yeats’ poem The Song of Wandering Aengus:
I went out to the hazel wood,
Because a fire was in my head,
And cut and peeled a hazel wand,
And hooked a berry to a thread;
And when white moths were on the wing,
And moth-like stars were flicking out,
I dropped the berry in a stream
And caught a little silver trout.
When I had laid it on the floor
I went to blow the fire aflame,
But something rustled on the floor,
And some one called me by my name:
It had become a glimmering girl
With apple blossom in her hair
Who called me by my name and ran
And faded through the brightening air.
Though I am old with wandering
Through hollow lands and hilly lands,
I will find out where she has gone,
And kiss her lips and take her hands;
And walk among long dappled grass,
And pluck till time and times are done
The silver apples of the moon,
The golden apples of the sun.