James B Fullarton

Some additional research from my friend Dude.

I did a trawl around Google looking for more info on that leading light, James B Fullarton, who arguably was single handedly responsible for the Golden Age of Spick & Span from the early to mid 1960s.

He was the guy who found Jane Paul, Annette French and a fabulous bag of lovelies from this corner of Scotland.

Saltcoats Harbour

What you may not know is that he was an acclaimed painter and a scion of the local gentry, as these searches suggest.

Fullarton Auction Prices

Doing a poor imitation of Sherlock Holmes, I’ve speculated on what all this might mean, and welcome alternative interpretations if you’re interested.

It shows a picture of a son of the local Ayrshire gentry, who had time enough to learn to become a proficient painter, and who was good enough to still fetch a price many years after he died.

Not many painters can get a grand for their work, but JBF did – and years after he died, which is an achievement. Most painters get instantly forgotten.

The fact he also had access to posh tennis clubs to take his photos (see Liz McEwan pics and similar) also suggest he was well placed locally.

Bearsden is quite a posh place too, especially back in those days when a Glasgow outskirt was practically in the country ( Bearsden today is considered the best place to be a woman in UK)

And he had a secret glamour photography hobby.

Photography costs money, more so in those days when disposable incomes were less.

Possibly he was funded by a family stipend given to their artist wastrel offshoot?

Or maybe he was a really successful businessman in his own right?

Or maybe they gave him start-up funds for his business in Bearsden? Who knows?

Either way it takes money to get started photographing girls the way he did.

Cameras, developing, film, girls fees, outfits – all quite big money in an age when £10 a week was a wage, and even doctors only earned 30 quid a week.

At the same time, I can’t imagine he ever made a proper living from his glamour photos.

And on top of that he had the time to learn to become an accomplished painter and run a business?

So did his family or his business provide the money support his photography and painting required?

My unprovable suspicion is that he was a Bertie Wooster in his day, maybe the last of a dying breed.

Your thoughts welcome on this. Please leave a comment.


6 thoughts on “J B Fullarton

  1. Very interesting Mr Dude. The riddle of the photographer has taxed a lot of our brains and it is good that the subject has been re-opened. According to the painting auction list Fullarton was born in 1946 so at the start of the exposure of the Ayrshire/Glasgow lassies associated with him - early 60s - he would have been a teenager so would he have been able to solicit so many lovely ladies?On Tocofan's website there was much discussion on this subject and, whiilst I am struggling to remember all the detail, he did put forward a strong argument for a more likely other photographer (Shaw) who was responsible for or inherited that large group of lovelies. Whoever it was, how did they manage to pursuade so many beauties to come to their house and allow themselves to be snapped? This was no professional photographer judging by the poor technical quality of the snaps and the lack of a studio.

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  2. The artist James Fullarton for whom you give auction prices is shown as being born 1946 - doesn't that make him a bit young to be a glamour photographer in the early to mid 1960s - unless he was a very precocious teenager? I am never sure about the Bearsden/Ayrshire connection as Ayrshire is well south west of Glasgow and Bearsden is in Dunbartonshire - north west of Glasgow. Incidentally there are public tennis courts in the west of Scotland!

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  3. I think the previous comments have pretty much covered what I was going to say. I doubt if the photographer and the artist (born 1946) are the same person. Given the reference to "many years after his death", and absence of any date for the artist's death in the catalogues, I become even more doubtful. I don't know how common a name Fullarton is in Scotland, but I fear this looks like a misidentification.

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  4. Just a thought, could there be two J.B. Fullartons, father and son? I've recently seen a reference to Rowallan Studios, Saltcoats, Ayrshire and there's an early pic of Janet Neill ascribed to Rowallan which I think I've seen somewhere on this site (she's in a bikini rather than suspense), so presumably there was a pro. photographer involved somewhere.

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  5. I have just been scrolling through the pictures by the artist James Fullarton again and I must say I do like his work - so may thanks to Mr Dude for finding out about an interesting Scottish artist!

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  6. At the risk of stirring up a hornet's nest - how is it known that there was a photographer named Fullarton supplying material for ToCo from Scotland ?
    There was a Fullerton (with an e) of Fullerton and Lloyd (Publishers) who produced the magazines. In fact the firm still exists in London rather than Croydon and has a couple of Staples (sons or daughters of the original R T Staples perhaps) on their board of directors. Perhaps they could shed some light on the photographers.

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