(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.
Alms dish in brass and enamel by Margaret Gilmour, signed, c. 1900 © CSG CIC
Pewter Wall Mirror, circa 1900, kidney outline, repoussé-decorated with opposed peacocks and centred with an inset enamelled plaque, the whole enclosing a mirror plate, with repoussé monogram MG. Image courtesy of Lyon & Turnbull, Fine Art Auctioneers.
Brass vase, waisted square section with repoussé stylised leaf motifs, attributed to Margaret Gilmour, unsigned.
Silvered white metal tray with Celtic motifs, signed. Image courtesy of Great Western Auctions.
Image courtesy of Great Western Auctions.
Of oblong form with sloped top, the body of the clock depicting a masted ship at sea in relief, embossed 'Time And Tide Wait For No Man', signed with monogram, the enamel clock dial with Roman numerals and steel moon hands, backplate of clock engraved 'GVC', on bracket feet, 32cm high. Ken McArthur for McTear’s
Image from The Studio Retail, Glasgow.
Margaret Gilmour attributed wall scone, Hansons Auctioneers and Valuers.
White metal letter opener. Image courtesy of The Studio Retail, Glasgow.