A. & J. Scott
A. & J. Scott, Painters, 245, Sauchiehall Street.ó
Amongst the many trades that have received an unwonted impetus during recent years, that of the ordinary house-painter is entitled to favourable consideration. Within the past quarter of a century quite a revolution has occurred in the style and manner of such work, although the technical method to all intents and purposes remains practically the same. The firm of Messrs. A. & J. Scott, of the foregoing address, is one of those which have well kept pace with the times and have displayed in their executed works great knowledge and skill in the higher and more decorative branches of their art. The business was originally established in 1853, under the name of Scott, Mitchell, & Co., at 44, John Street, opposite to the New Municipal Buildings.
In 1858 the firm was changed to the style it still bears, and some twelve years since it migrated to the premises it at present occupies ; the whole building being remodelled so as to be made available for the firmís business, under the superintendence of one of the most eminent of Glasgow architects. Internally it exhibits evidences of the artistic tastes and practical skill of the firm in almost every department of ornamental art. The offices and general showroom are on the ground floor. Each wall is decorated in a different style, yet the whole blends harmoniously together, the detail of the ornamentation being, as it always should be, entirely subordinate to the excellence of general effect. The main ceiling is very elaborately painted in the style of the Italian Renaissance, with smaller panels of fruit and flowers on a gilded ground. The smaller room is treated in flatter style, with gold bands and ornamentation. Both form excellent examples of the firmís practical skill, while the articles of vertu, paintings, sketches, &c., evince a particularly artistic talent in the choice of decorative accessories.
The showroom on the first floor offers a further example in the same direction. The basement is given up to workshop purposes, for the firm employs a very large number of hands, especially during the busy season. For their convenience, and on account of the dispersed nature of much of the firmís, work, subsidiary or branch offices have been opened in different parts of the city. These of course have their own local staff, acting in a measure independently, but yet under the guiding control of the head office.
Much of the firmís work has naturally been performed in the city in which they are located ; it has, however, by no means been confined to so circumscribed a district, but has extended into very remote districts of Scotland, and has even penetrated into the sister kingdom. In addition to ordinary colour painting of a highly decorative character, Messrs. Scott have made a speciality of a new feature in wall decoration, which consists in the painting on a special form of twilled canvas in a manner which gives all the beauty of texture and the effect of the old tapestries. The process is comparatively speaking inexpensive, but the results cannot be surpassed, except of course by the genuine article. For saloons of a monumental or highly decorative character, as in mansions or public buildings, this process possesses peculiar facilities, and has been taken advantage of with the most satisfactory results.
Another process to the introduction of which Messrs. Scott have applied themselves with their customary energy, consists in the imitation of marqueterie and inlaid woodwork, by staining processes on the natural wood. The effect is really superb, while the patterns on the surfaces may be either as simple or as elaborate as may be desired. Of course the cost varies in proportion, but bears no comparison with the expense which would be necessitated by the real thing. The process opens the door to the employment of artistic work of a high character in the humblest abodes, and so cannot fail to perform its share in elevating the already aroused tastes of the masses. Each work that the firm accomplishes, and each workman it employs, becomes in course of time a centre from which the appreciation of the beautiful in art may be distributed, raising a spirit of emulation not only amongst themselves, but also amidst those with whom they are brought into contact both in their labours and in their homes.
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