Pollokshields Heritage Heritage Trail Two 
James Duncan (c1865-1965)

Responsible for the tiled frieze in the former Fishmongers at 126 Nithsdale Road.

James DuncanDuncan, born in 1833 in Aberdeen, made an enormous contribution to the installation of tiled murals in Scotland but we are led to believe that he did not manufacture his own tiles, instead buying machine-pressed blanks from companies such as T. & R. Boote, Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent and Maw & Co., Jackfield. James Duncan probably sent his designs to T & R Boote and Maw & Co., who would manufacture the tiles to his designs, with James Duncan Ltd or JD Ltd printed on the finished article asserting his copyright to the design.

One of his biggest contracts was for the Buttercup Dairy who had around 250 shops throughout Scotland but his designs, created using a tube-lined technique, weren’t confined to shops as he also designed tiles for domestic fireplaces and many of the tiled or wally closes predominately found in Glasgow. His designs are distinctive and recognizable, but no two designs were ever the same and exhibit a degree of individuality. A fine example of Duncan’s work can be viewed at a former fishmonger’s shop at 126 Nithsdale Road, Pollokshields, with the original entrance panel of a fisher girl now conserved at the People’s Palace on Glasgow Green.