Alex Mackenzie & Co.

Suppliers of art furniture and flooring

Although the trade of Alex. Mackenzie & Co. (also Alexander Mackenzie and McKenzie & Co. in John Honeyman & Keppie's job books) is not specified in the job books, it was probably the Glasgow-based art-furniture and parquetry flooring firm of that name. From the early 1850s to the 1890s, it was based at 87–9 Buchanan Street, with a 'steam power factory' at 165 North Street from the early 1850s to the 1890s. The firm was originally McKenzie [rather than MacKenzie] & Crawford, house furnishers, upholsterers and paper-hangers, but from c. 1852, MacKenzie continued on his own account. 1 In an 1872 advertisement, he informed 'architects, builders and private gentlemen' that he had machinery for constructing inlaid floors, solidly and with close-fitting joints, and could supply 'designs, estimates and samples'. 2 Two years later, 'Mackenzie's ... wood mosaic flooring, made any thickness' was advertised, and by the 1880s, the firm billed itself as 'Manufacturers of art furniture ... venetian blinds, carvers, gilders, carpet warehousemen and general house furnishers'. 3

At the 1888 Glasgow International Exhibition, the firm displayed 'Spanish and Hungarian bed-room furniture [and] a very elegant sideboard'. They panelled the Mahogany and Octagonal Salons in Glasgow's new City Chambers around the same time, and in 1889 advertised wares including Japanese screens and Venetian glass. 4 When their lease expired in 1891, they sold off an 'Exhibition Axminster carpet woven in one piece', and 'Overmantels that were 24 for 12'. 5 MacKenzie's partner, William Miller, carried on the business alone as the 'Charing Cross Cabinet Works' during the 1890s, advertising 'Architectural woodwork' and 'artistic carving' as his specialities. 6

Notes:

1: Glasgow Post Office Directories, 1850–95

2: Scotsman, 25 April 1872, p. 2.

3: Scotsman, 20 July 1874, p. 2; Glasgow Post Office Directory, 1880–1.

4: Scotsman, 3 September 1888, p. 7; Elizabeth Williamson, Anne Riches and Malcolm Higgs, Buildings of Scotland: Glasgow, London: Penguin, 1990, p. 162; Glasgow Herald, 10 October 1889, p. 12.

5: Glasgow Herald, 4 May 1891, p. 10.

6: Scotsman, 8 June 1891, p. 1.