1849 Fairnbiarn Large Antique Print The Old Baronial Hall in the Gorbals Glasgow

Publisher : Thomas Fairbairn

This beautifully coloured large folio original antique lithograph print, views of old Glasgow now long gone, by the Scottish artist Thomas Fairbairn (1821 - 1885) was published by Miller & Buchanan in the 1849 edition of Relic of Ancient Architecture and other Picturesque Scenes in Glasgow.

Subject Background

The Old Baronial Hall was built by Sir George Elphinstone and his wife Dame Agnes Boyd in 1601. Following his death in 1634 the building passed down through several owners including Robert Douglas, Viscount Belhaven (who added a distinctive square tower), Gorbals Town Council and Sir James Turner. By 1858 a part of The Old Barional Hall (with the neighbouring chapel) had been converted into a public house, the Old Gorbals Wine and Spirit Vaults. However, the ornate ceiling and cornicing and the statuettes on the walls are reminders of the building's former glories, as the home of one of Glasgow's most prominent men of affairs. The initials S G E and D A B on the ceiling were part of the original decoration and stood for Sir George Elphinstone and his wife Dame Agnes Boyd. It was demolished in the early 1870s.

The Gorbals is an area on the south bank of the River Clyde in the city of Glasgow, Scotland. By the late 19th century, it had become over-populated and adversely affected by local industrialisation. Many people lived here because their jobs provided this home and they could not afford their own. It became widely known as a dangerous slum and was subject to efforts at
redevelopment, which contributed to more problems such as homeless people and diseases spreading. In recent decades, some buildings have been demolished for a mixture of market and social housing; others are being refurbished and restored to a higher standard.

Relic of Ancient Architecture and other Picturesque Scenes in Glasgow, was published large folio size in 1849, containing 19 large folio coloured lithograph prints and has long since been out of print. A praiseworthy motive induced Mr. James Bogle, at one time Lord Dean of Guild, and a member of an old and highly-respected Glasgow family, to engage Mr. Thomas Fairbairn to reproduce them, before they passed into oblivion, some "Relics of Ancient Architecture and Picturesque Scenes in Glasgow." The immediate cause of Mr. Bogle's resolve was the fall of a sugar-house in Alston Street, by which some six or seven lives were lost, and a resolution on the part of the Dean of Guild Court to make a general survey of the City with a view to the removal of old houses which, from age or other causes, were considered to be unfit for habitation. Mr. Bogle naturally thought that this was the proper time to reproduce in permanent form a fair presentment of many of the noted houses of old Glasgow

Along with Mr. Fairbairn, the artist, Mr. Bogle made a tour of the City, and selected subjects for the drawings, nearly all of which are now gone, and those few that remain are so altered as to be almost irrecognisable.

A general wish having been expressed for a reproduction of the work, the publishers some time ago engaged Mr. Fairbairn (now alas! gone) to reproduce the original sketches, and also add a number of others of interest before the rapid growth of the City extinguishes or entirely defaces their subjects.

The drawings are now thirty in number, and have been reproduced by Messrs. Annan's new process of photo-engraving, which it will be observed, gives the effect of finely finished mezzo-tints.

The letterpress descriptions of the original edition are from the pen of the late Mr. James Pagan, Editor of the Glasgow Herald, and the descriptions of the new scenes have been supplied by his successor, the present Editor of that journal.

It ought to be stated that the descriptive portions, written by Mr. Pagan more than thirty years ago, have not been touched; so that readers should understand that they refer to the Glasgow of a former generation, and are all indicated in the Contents by an asterisk.

General Description:
Paper thickness and quality: - Heavy & stable
Paper color: - White
Age of map color: - Original
Colors used: - Red, green, blue, brown  
General color appearance: - Authentic   
Paper size: - 22in x 16in (560mm x 405mm)
Margins: - Min 4in (100mm)

Margins: - None
Plate area: - None
Verso: - None