Robert Stirling was a cabinet maker, upholsterer, and seller of carpet and bedding who lived at 25 Moray Place (now 52 Marywood Square) from around 1897. He began in business in 1880, but all record of him and his business disappears after 1906-07. Mrs Annie E R Stirling still owned the property in 1915, but was renting it out.
The Post Office Directories also record J H N Stirling and Fergus Stirling at the same address and working for the same firm at some point, possibly his sons.
Previously he lived at 34 Leven Street in Pollokshields, and had a showroom on the corner of Renfield Street and Bath Street. Later he moved to Strathbungo and had his works at 1-13 Cumberland Street, Calton, in the Gorbals.
The glasgowwestaddress.co.uk website has some trade indexes from the period, and he appears twice.
His first entry, from 1888 reads:
Robert M. Stirling, Dealer in Fine Furniture, &c., 89, Renfield Street, and 52 to 56, Bath Street.—
The furniture trade of Glasgow, like every other staple branch of commerce, comprises every class of dealer, with corresponding ratios of value and excellence. As in everything else, so in furniture, it always pays to get the best. An establishment which stands in the van of the choicest line of the furniture trade is that of Mr. Robert M. Stirling, of the above address. The business was originally established by Messrs. Stirling & Wylie, in 1880, in Maxwell Street, and subsequently Mr. Stirling became the sole proprietor, removing to the present commodious premises.
These consist of an extensive ground floor, reaching from Bath to Renfield Streets, also three eligible flats above, and contain one of the most extensive, as it is one of the freshest and most elegant stocks of fine furniture, carpets, curtains, and bedding in the city. Mr. Stirling manifests an intimate knowledge of the wants of the public, and has kept most thoroughly up to the demands made upon his house. All of the newest designs in parlour, chamber, dining-room, and kitchen furniture, are included in his stock. His parlour suites are obtainable in all the latest styles of upholstering ; his carpets include the choicest patterns in Brussels, Turkey, and Persian, Kidderminster velvets, tapestries, three-ply ingrains, &c. The firm also have a very large stock of Eastern rugs, in which they do a large trade. Various patterns of oil-cloths, linoleum, bedding in profusion, &c., can be found here, and all goods are quoted at astonishingly low prices.
Mr. Stirling deals with the best classes of our citizens, and makes a speciality of completely furnishing all sizes of houses, residential mansions, flats, &c. Estimates are promptly furnished, and the terms are of the most liberal character, presenting to all an opportunity of obtaining what they want in the way of house furnishing. The prompt, upright, and reliable character of all Mr. Stirling’s dealings, and the superior quality of his furniture, have secured to him the representative position he now holds, and renders his establishment a specially interesting feature of Glasgow’s activity and enterprise.
The second from 1891 includes the illustration above, and reads:
ROBERT M. STIRLING, Cabinet Maker, Upholsterer, Carpet and Bedding Warehouseman, 87, 89, 91, 93, Renfield Street ; and 52 to 56, Bath Street, Glasgow.
The important modern desideratum of elegant, yet inexpensive, furnishing has been long and adequately provided for in the operations of the eminent Glasgow house whose leading commercial features form the subject of this brief sketch. The prosperity of the business now conducted at the above address by Mr. Robert M. Stirling has been as rapid as it is well deserved. It was established in 1880 at 89, Maxwell Street, and five years later, in order to cope with the increase of the trade and to pursue a more select class of business, Mr. Stirling removed to the present location, where the premises form a well-known attraction of this busy thoroughfare. They present a frontage both to Renfield Street and Bath Street ; and the commanding series of seven windows to the former and six to the latter — that is, thirteen in all — constitute a superb index to the large and comprehensive stock, admirable examples of which they disclose.
Within, the whole space of seven floors is devoted to the display of the various departments, and the visitor to this handsome and well-arranged emporium of cabinet and upholstery art will be divided in admiration between the setting of the various specialties en suite and the beautiful and unconventional designs which they illustrate. Beneath the premises are extensive workshops, stretching for a considerable distance up Bath Street, and here the entire work of the house is sustained and carried out by a staff of cabinet-makers and upholsterers thoroughly versed and trained in all the more advanced and genuinely artistic phases of the trade. This is eminently endorsed in the solidity, finish, and general elegance of all goods emanating from this establishment, and the fresh and attractive appearance of the stock at all times held within Mr. Stirling’s well-lighted and effective showrooms is accounted for by the busy and progressive character of the trade, calling for the constant substitution of new and well-designed furnishings brought direct from the hands of the artisan. This is a feature which cannot be too well accentuated, considering that it applies with equal appropriateness to the Carpet, Bedding, Curtain, and other relative departments, and in general furnishing fabrics there are held and exhibited in Mr. Stirling’s establishment many of the most recherché fabrics of the present day.
Of the many specialties shown, both in furniture and furnishings, it is obviously needless to say more than that they are fully adaptable to the requirements of all classes. In order to render the acquisition of genuine artistic and good furniture within reach of even the least affluent, Mr. Stirling has submitted a range of drawing-room suites varying from seven or eight pounds to two hundred, and so on in the same ratio throughout the comprehensive series of dining-room, parlour, and bedroom suites. The “Abbotsford” dining-room suite and the “Melrose” bedroom suite rank amongst the most popular of Mr. Stirling’s specialties, and, together with the “Special” overmantel in walnut, oak, and mahogany, are in constant requisition. The magnitude of the whole stock and the diversity of choice which it offers may be said to render it unrivalled by that of any house in the Kingdom. In providing for all the requirements of the modern furnishing industry, Mr. Stirling has adopted many facilities tending to secure due promptitude and attentiveness. Removals are carefully and economically conducted, and this department of the industry is favoured by the special goods entrance at 27 to 31, Sauchiehall Lane. The telephone is brought into operation (No. 3512), and this is found of valuable service in the transaction of a large and always increasing business. Possessed of many trade advantages, and devoting close personal attention to the requirements of his numerous influential connections, Mr. Stirling has secured that place in public esteem and confidence which is due to his honourable trading methods and enterprise; and a description of his well-known establishment, however brief, must be expected to form an inherent and indispensable part of any Review of Glasgow’s representative and leading industries.