A new look at the old Villa Perdicaris for #MuseumWeek #ZoomMW

Today’s Museum Week challenge asks us to zoom in on a particular item in our collection.

Over the past few weeks we have had several visitors with a keen interest in seeing Villa Perdicaris in its old splendor. There was the restoration crew charged with bringing Villa Perdicaris, also known as Villa Aidonia, back to its original glory and researchers from the BBC working on a documentary that will feature the ever-infamous Perdicaris incident.

Thanks to a generous donation from local resident Jonathan Dawson, we have a photo album that once belonged to the British Minister in Tangier, Sir Arthur Nicolson composed of photos taken during his mission in Morocco from 1895 to 1904.

The photos capture mostly quotidian things, a child in Victorian-era dress riding a mule, for example, and many fascinating shots in and around Tangier and Rabat. Two pictures in particular caught our eye, however, a shot of Villa Perdicaris looking rather pristine, and another of the Perdicaris family lounging outside their villa.

This photo helped us to rediscover the original white finish of the exterior of the house. Until recently the facade was completely decayed and showing bare brick.

Without these photos, we may never have known what Villa Perdicaris looked like when it was inhabited by its original owners.

Perdicaris mother and children, enjoying a relaxed moment.

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