Glasgow - City of Sculpture
By Gary Nisbet
James Steel
(fl. 1850-c. 70)

Glasow based sculptor, modeller and plasterer, he occupied premises at 129 West George Street.

In 1855, he modelled the figurative roundels in the interior of the former Union Bank, 191 Ingram Street (now Corinthian).

He was responsible for the ornate plasterwork and the models for the exterior guilloche mouldings at the Royal Faculty of Procutators, 62-8 Nelson Mandela Place, which were carved by James Shanks (1854-6).

One of his former assistants was J P Macgillivray , who worked on the plasterwork and exterior carving on the Scotia Theatre, Stockwell Street (dem.).

Steel's firm was eventually acquired by his former assistant Robert McGilvray, of McGilvray & Ferris .


  • GH [Obit, McGilvray], 24 October, 1914;
  • Williamson et al. ;
  • George Fairfull Smith, Lanarkshire House, Glasgow, in Architectural History (1999), no. 42, p. 298.
Works in our Database:
1: Nelson Mandela Place (City Centre),
Royal Faculty of Procurators, 12 Nelson Mandela Place
Keystone Portraits and Associated Decorative Carving (1854)
Modellers: AH Ritchie (portraits); J Steel (decorative work); Carver: J Shanks;
Architect: C Wilson
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