Henry Birks & Sons’ Magnificent Jewelry Emporium
Montreal, Que., May 21.—Montreal can now with some reason claim to have one of the finest stores in the world. Henry Birks & Sons have moved into their new quarters, at the corner of Phillips Square and St. Catherine St., and have put in a complete new stock from the leading establishments of the old world.
The store is practically in two parts. The main division, with frontage on both St. Catherine St. and Phillips Square, is finished in solid mahogany. At the back of the store, forming alcoves, are wall cases of rich mahogany, highly polished and elaborately carved and inlaid. The doors, which are so balanced that they slide upwards at the least touch, are of the heaviest plate glass. The interior of the cabinets is finished in royal blue plush, and lighted from within by incandescent lamps. To the left of the St. Catherine St. entrance, within walls of carved mahogany and wrought iron grill work, is the diamond office. Then there is a room from which the daylight is excluded, the artificial light showing the effect of jewels, as in a brilliantly lighted ball-room.
The electric light fixtures twining up the massive pillars are of wrought iron, and were especially designed and manufactured in London. Through the arch, the western portion of the building, devoted to choice cabinets, porcelains, clocks, bronzes and statuary, is entirely distinct from the main store. Here is solid elegance in design and lavishness in display. There is not a bit of cheap, tawdry work throughout. The building itself is four stories high.
Source: The Jewelers' Circular and Horological Review - 23rd May 1894