C. L. Dobbie & Son
C. L. Dobbie & Son, Carvers and Gilders, 886, Paisley Road.ó
There are few firms whose history, trade, and general surrounding circumstances are so highly interesting as that in the proprietorship of Messrs. C. L. Dobbie & Son. The business was originally founded about 1820 in Fox Street, and then in Maxwell Street, by Mr. Thomas Kay, who was succeeded by his foreman, the late Mr. William Shanks, who in his turn was succeeded in 1853 by the present proprietors. This is the oldest firm of the kind in Glasgow and one that has gained great renown for the execution of high-class work.
The present premises have been occupied for sixteen years. They comprise spacious and well-fitted workshops, near the docks, and consist of one flat only. They are in many respects well adapted to the purposes of the firmís trade, and more especially in the question of light, the premises having windows on all sides. Although extensively engaged as general ornamental carvers in all branches of the business, the attention of the firm is more particularly directed to the requisite carving for ship-building. It was in these works that all the grand carving for the Livadia was executed. This ship was built for the late Czar of Russia by Messrs. Elder & Co.
At the present time Messrs. Dobbie are busily engaged in carving for several model ships being made by some of the principal companies for the Exhibition.. They also carve a great number of figure-heads for vessels. At one time the carving of figure-heads was a matter of vital importance, and Jack Tar had a violent objection to sailing with any vessel whose figure-head he happened to disapprove of. This feeling has to a great extent died out, in this country at least, but still artistic tastes prompt shipbuilders to a due observance of elegance in the appearance of their vessels. These figures are carved from wood, but when painted and finished they so much resemble stone that it is almost impossible to recognise any difference.
In every department of their trade Messrs. Dobbie have shown great ability and skill, and they occupy a decidedly pre-eminent position in this direction in Glasgow. The business is very extensive, and under energetic management is carried on upon a very large scale in every branch of the industry.
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