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Rights to name of Mackintosh patron Miss Cranston for sale

ONE of the most notable names connected to the artist and architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh is being sold.

DISTINCTIVE STYLE: Miss Cranston's cafe on Ingram Street was among the many venues for which Mackintosh designed interiors.
DISTINCTIVE STYLE: Miss Cranston's cafe on Ingram Street was among the many venues for which Mackintosh designed interiors.

The rights to call a cafe, coffee shop or tea room "Miss Cranston's" are up for sale after the former owner went out of business with the loss of 100 jobs.

Bradfords Bakers owned the rights to the name, and now the title and rights to the name are being sold by Glasgow company Metis Partners on behalf of the liquidators.

Intellectual property experts with Metis are expecting a five-figure sum for rights to the name, with an offer in the hundreds of thousands a possibility.

Companies have until August 7 to bid for the name.

Metis expects healthy interest in acquiring the brand, which was last used by Bradfords on shops such as one of their best-known branches, Miss Cranston's Tearooms, in the city's Gordon Street.

Founded in 1878 by Catherine Cranston, known as Kate, a consistent patron of Charles Rennie Mackintosh, the Tea Rooms were open until 1954 and brought back into business by Bradfords in 1998.

During Miss Cranston's 20-year partnership with Mackintosh, he created some of his most notable interiors, furniture and design.

Between 1897 and 1917, he designed or restyled rooms in all four of her Glasgow tea room establishments. 

At the Willow Tea Rooms in Sauchiehall Street, Mackintosh designed all the interior fittings as well as the exterior and internal layout of the building.

When it opened in 1904 the Room de Luxe, with silver furniture and leaded mirror friezes, was the main attraction.

By 1938, tea rooms at 43 Argyll Arcade, 28 Buchanan Street, Renfield Street and Queen Street were being run by Cranston's Tea Rooms Ltd. They closed in 1954.

Nat Baldwin, of Metis Partners, said: "The Miss Cranston name is synonymous with elegance, good taste and artistic innovation and integrity. The association with an artist of the stature of Mackintosh gives the brand an unprecedented international allure.

"We are anticipating an intense interest from around the world from people and enterprises operating in the hospitality, food and drink, events, tourism, heritage brands and arts sectors."

Assets in the Miss Cranston sale include branded domain names, "goodwill in the brand and reputation" and registered trademarks.

Recently the Willow Tea Rooms had their future secured after being bought by a charitable trust.

The new Celia Sinclair Charitable Trust acquired the A-listed building in Sauchiehall Street for about £400,000.

The building, which needs about £900,000 of further repairs and restoration work, will be gifted to the city by the trust.

Mackintosh's first involvement with Miss Cranston was in the Buchanan Street Tea Rooms at 91-93 Buchanan Street, when he created wall murals. The interiors and furnishings were designed by George Walton.

Mackintosh next designed the furniture and interiors of Miss Cranston's already existing Argyle Street Tea Rooms, and Walton was responsible for the wall murals.

For Miss Cranston's Ingram Street cafe in 1900, Mackintosh created the White Dining Room.

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