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Margaret Gilmour
(1863 – 1942)

Margaret Gilmour was born in Glasgow, the daughter of a local businessman. She attended the School of Art from 1877 to 1880 and is often referred to in hand with her sister Mary, who also attended at Glasgow and following that art school in London. Together with a third sister they later established The Gilmour Studio at 179 West George Street, a successful operation which operated for about 50 years. They won local commissions, produced items for sale and taught a range of crafts including repoussé metalwork, enamelling, leatherwork, embroidery, painting, ceramic painting and wood carving. Margaret’s output appears to have been prolific, predominantly in metalware of a high quality, in brass, white metal and sometimes copper.

Examples of her work appear regularly at auction. Often it is unsigned, although when signed the signature is “MG” which could potentially refer to Mary Gilmour. In relation to a lack of signature on her work, dealers cite a high volume of output from the studio as the reason and refer to pattern books and quality as a means of determining provenance.

The Gilmour Studio produced an enormous range of decorative metalware for the home including wall plaques, jardinières, clock faces, candle sconces, trays, mirrors, lamps, desk and dressing table sets. Glasgow Style motifs were generally used in their designs as were Celtic entrelacs, sometimes with enamel roundels. Margaret exhibited at the Glasgow International Exhibition in 1901. Very little information or research on her is available. 

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