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Latitude: 56.394 / 56°23'38"N
Longitude: -3.4301 / 3°25'48"W
OS Eastings: 311815
OS Northings: 723333
OS Grid: NO118233
Mapcode National: GBR 1Z.13CM
Mapcode Global: WH6QC.8KV4
Entry Name: 52-54 Canal Street, Love's Auction Rooms
Listing Date: 8 November 2006
Source: Historic Scotland
Source ID: 398895
Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB50620
Building Class: Cultural
County: Perth and Kinross
Electoral Ward: Perth City Centre
Traditional County: Perthshire
Probably A G Heiton, 1905 in current form, incorporating (or on footprint of) earlier 19th century fabric; extended to rear earlier to mid 20th century. Rare, finely-detailed neo-Tudor façade to tall 2-storey, 6-bay, L-plan auction room incorporating original 1905 wrought iron and copper sign by N & E Spittle of Birmingham, some coloured leaded glass, centre covered court with flanking stores and offices to N front; polychrome bands to tall circular brick stalk rising on square rubble base at roof height, and further stores to S. Stugged squared rubble with droved quoins and mock half-timbering in chevron, square, cross and diamond patterns. Moulded segmental-arched voussoired doorpiece; relieving arches, chamfered arrises, raked cills, stone and timber mullions and timber transoms. Mostly bipartite and 4-light windows.
Principal N elevation with broad centre doorway and 2-leaf timber door multi-panelled and boarded with trefoil detail at top panels and large cast iron hinges; jettied 1st floor centre bays on moulded timber brackets with 'LOVE' at centre gablehead; flanking gableheads also jettied with pargeting below half-timbering.
Multi-pane glazing patterns throughout, N elevation with smaller panes to upper lights, in timber and metal frames. Grey slates, some roofs piended. Deeply overhanging eaves with exposed rafters, decorative bargeboards, and decorative ironwork finals.
INTERIOR: simple, largely unaltered interior retaining office door with etched glass panel, some timbered walls and boarded ceilings with decorative cast iron ventilators. Full-height centre court with cast iron columns now with 1st floor infill. Arcaded wall to side store with full height multi-pane infill. Valuables room (appearing on 1905 plan with heating chamber to SE angle, at base of stalk) with full width brick shelf beneath stone slab top.
use of the neo-Tudor style, particularly rare within the city of Perth, promotes this façade as an unusual streetscape addition. The quality and attention to design detail, carried through to the specially commissioned ironwork sign, raises the special architectural interest and importance of Love's Auction Rooms to a regional level. With the exception of the delightful Love's Auction Room, all of the 18th and 19th century structures once lining this part of Canal Street, on the site of the old city wall, have given way to late 20th century development, or been so altered as to be totally unrecognisable. The gabled façade of Love's appears on an early photograph, thought to date from before 1898. However, this date is not confirmed, and the photograph is not clear enough to show any half-timbering. Consequently, it is possible that Heiton's work of 1905 was not as extensive as indicated above, but incorporated only alterations to the façade (installing the neo-Tudor detail) and adding 'New Stores' to the rear. The site was previously (as early as 1835) occupied by a 'Coach Manufactory' and 'smithy' of basically the same ground plan. The siting of the 'smithy' (to the east) could explain the presence of the large (almost industrial) stalk.
The Love family commenced trading at a different address in Perth in 1869, a centenary brochure (not seen 2006) was published in 1969. They took over the Canal Street site in 1905 at which time the business consisted of an antique shop and department store. The fine wrought iron sign was purchased on Heiton's recommendation for the sum of £10.10/- (ten pounds and ten shillings), from Spittle's of Birmingham. Heiton said in a letter to his client dated 22 August, 1906 'We will get a better finish and a more artistic turn to the scroll & c from Spittle'.
List description updated at resurvey (2009).
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