Robert McTear and the Royal Exchange Sale Rooms, April 1874

On Tuesday the 14th of April, on page four of The Glasgow Herald, readers were informed:



Quite a crowd of picture fanciers and lovers of the antique, in the form of articles of household use and ornament, found their way yesterday to the Royal Exchange Sale Rooms. They had a double object in view – to congratulate Mr McTear on taking possession of his new premises, and to inspect a valuable collection of works of art and articles of vertu, which are to be sold to-morrow and on Thursday. Mr McTear, we may say, has completed 40 years at his “calling”, and is now of the longest standing as an auctioneer in Glasgow. For many years his name has been associated with St Mary’s Hall in Renfield Street, but an extending business has rendered necessary a removal to more commodious premises in North Exchange Court, which were yesterday on private view, although not yet quite finished internally. The Rooms are thoroughly adapted for the special requirements of the trade, and have 80ft. of plate-glass frontage, with a depth of about 70ft. They comprise the great hall, an elegant room 50ft. by 25 ft., lighted from the roof, which will be used for fine art and general sales, a large and well lighted saloon, 30ft. by 25 feet, for private sales of pictures; and a counting house, catalogue room, fireproof room, &c. With reference to the collection to be disposed of to-morrow, it may be said that the auctioneer is quite justified in describing it as “rare and valuable.” There are a number of very fine pictures by English and Continental artists, and an exhibition of old china and finest porcelain, of antique cabinets and massive bronzes and stately, exquisitely-painted vases, which we admire, and covet while we admire. In Dresden porcelain there are some striking groups, in Sevres porcelain a very pretty dessert service, and two splendid vases of the Louis Philippe period. … There is also a highly ornamental circular table, with portraits on porcelain of Louis XVI, and Antoinette, Dubarry, and half-a-dozen other beauties of the French Court.”


An advertisement for the auction is on page eight of the same edition of the Herald.