Peter Smith


Peter Smith (c. 1842–1911), a monumental sculptor, was born near Forres, Morayshire, the seventh child of a stonemason. He pursued his father's trade first in Aberdeen during the 1860s and early 1870s before bringing his young family to Glasgow around 1875. 1

Smith was familiar with granite from his time in Aberdeen and soon became manager of long-established Glasgow sculptors J. & G. Mossman's granite yard. By 1878, he appears in local directories as 'sculptor, granite and freestone', and from around 1879 had premises close to Mossman's, a short distance from Glasgow Cathedral and the Necropolis, where many many of the funerary monuments were produced by his own or the Mossman firm. In 1891 he rejoined Mossman's as proprietor. 2

Smith specialised in funerary monuments rather than building ornamentation. Examples of Smith's work include an obelisk 'of chaste design' with a bronze medallion by Daniel Ferguson at Tollcross United Presbyterian Church, Glasgow (1889); a memorial to James Allan in Helensburgh (1891); a drinking fountain at Inverary (1893); and the memorial to architect Thomas Gildard (1896), on which he collaborated with William Shirreffs. 3

Three of Smith's five sons trained as sculptors. All three entered and later became sole partners of the Mossman firm. Peter Junior withdrew from the partnership in 1913 and business was continued by his brothers George Nicol and James Nicol Smith. 4


1: Birth, marriage, death and census information, and [accessed 29 August 2012]; Gary Nisbet, 'Peter Smith (1843–1911): Short Biography', Glasgow – City of Sculpture, 2001–12, at [accessed 28 August 2012].

2: Gary Nisbet, 'Peter Smith (1843–1911): Short Biography'; and 'J. & G. Mossman, (fl. 1816–?): Short Biography', both at Glasgow – City of Sculpture Website, 2001–12, [accessed 28 August 2012]; Glasgow Post Office Directories, 1877–98.

3: Tollcross memorial:Glasgow Herald, 6 December 1889, p. 10; Helensburgh memorial: Gary Nisbet, 'Peter Smith (1843–1911): Short Biography', at Glasgow – City of Sculpture Website, 2001–12, [accessed 28 August 2012]; Gildard memorial: Ray McKenzie, Public Sculpture of Glasgow, Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2002, pp. 459–60.

4: 1901 census, [accessed 29 August 2012]; Edinburgh Gazette, 31 October 1913, p. 1140.