The Dennartt (A. Wright's Twentieth Century Impressions...)
The Dennartt villa is one of the few palatial residences of the original Shanghailanders that survives to this day, hidden inside a lane compound on Huashan Road. Presently, the building is used by the Municipal Department of Agriculture and remains off-limits to the general public. I was inspired to look into its past after seeing an investigation by Andrew Hillier who is a descendant of the original owner, the English lawyer W. V. Drummond.
Drummond was a high-level legal adviser who prospered in Shanghai from the 1880s onwards. Apart from Hillier's article tracking down Drummond's home in Shanghai, I found several newspaper mentions of the family, including a fascinating inventory of their furniture and decorative pieces prior to their being auctioned off. Lastly, I matched this information with archival photos of the interior of the Dennartt that I found years ago on the Shanghai Library archival website, where the photos are dumped without any captions or credits.
The drawing room of the mansion (minguotupian.com)
All the sumptuous details from old newspapers could not fit into an article, so I am quoting them here:
Monks partying with the Drummonds
On Thursday afternooп the 27th last month the Rev. Н. М. Trickett, at the invitation of Mr. and Mrs. W. V. Drummond, took out a party of thirty men from H. M. S. Clio to Dennartt, Sicawei Road. The party left the Customs jetty in two detachments, conveyed by the Aquarius motor wagon and by a horse-dray respectively, at 4.30 p.m., and they attracted considerable attention on the route by their songs and their evident enjoyment of this novel mode of conveyance. Mr. and Mrs. Drummond met their guests at the entrance to their grounds, and at once conducted them to the tea-tables, at which the visitors were provided with a substantial meal. Afterwards there were games, and the two hours that elapsed before the party left went by only too rapidly. After a short speech by the Rev. H. M. Trickett, in which he expressed the gratitude of the men for Mr. and Mrs. Drummond's hospitality, and iced drinks and a final cigar, the party left, signalizing their departure by cheer after cheer for their host and hostess.
(From the North-China Daily News and Herald, 1907)
Auctioning off the fine furniture
L. Moore & Co., Ltd, [...] will sell by public auction at No. 129 Siccawei Road (Dennartt Estate) on Monday, the 5th of July superior and artistic household furniture and requisites
Special attention is directed to the carved cherrywood furniture, which is especialy fine. The other furniture is all of good make, most of it made by Arts and Crafts and is in excellent condition.
HALL. Jute carpet, brass jardiniere, carved cherrywood stool, Indian Cashmere carved bevelled mirror back overmantel, carved cherrywood armchair and hat and umbrella stand, rugs, etc.
SMOKING ROOM. Matting, rugs, copper fender, fire irons, fire dogs, copper mounted coal box, marble clock, brass vases and ornaments, a folding invalid chair with tapestry upholstered cushion and cretonne cover, set of 4 blackwood teapoys, Canton blackwood marble top flower stand, Japanese carved cherrywood stool, teak mahogany stained tapestry upholstered armchairs, Foochow lacquered teapoys, Egyptian tapestry, pictures, Indian curtains, etc.
(the rest I'll quote as images)
(From the Shanghai Times, 1920)
The hall in the Dennartt (minguotupian.com).