Malplaquet House

Am I the last one to know, again??

If not, check this out. Malplaquet House is an 18th century brick mansion in East London, that hadn’t been occupied for a hundred years until 1998, when a pair of historians/designers moved in and let their compulsive hoarding run rampant. Now, after 12 years, Todd Longstaffe-Gowan and Tim Knox are ready to sell the place and and find fresh environs to clutter.

The house is breathtaking, in a Miss Havisham meets Tony Duquette kind of way. More is Not Enough here, and you certainly get the feeling that these guys have several more tons of antique statues and taxidermy stacked up in storage somewhere.

Even the bathroom is a shrine to their insanity. (Click to expand the picture)

In a hallway, there are enough antlers to make all of Williamsburg and Los Feliz cry bitter tears of envy.

I feel ambivalent about this place.   Except for the dead things, it has a baroque faux-religious aesthetic that I personally favor in my own house. And I like obsessive art, as I keep saying. But the thought of being surrounded by this much crap…..and the way it’s   just thrown   everywhere almost randomly…I think no.

One day in Malplaquet House would probably convince me to throw away all my hoarded old crap and live in pristine minimalism like a monk. But I would love to spend an hour there, just to ogle all that maniacal splendor.

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39 Responses to Malplaquet House

  1. Jane Schott says:

    How fabulous!!!! I think Mrs. Haversham is somewhere upstairs!

  2. Dru says:

    I might take up temporary residence there….if I could afford to hire someone to clean the place (not to mention, the rent!)

    But only temporary residence, mind you.

  3. Dru says:

    Also, being a clueless Third Worlder, I have to ask: why do American hipsters love taxidermy so much? Do they think it’s a grownup, “acceptable” alternative to keeping stuffed animal toys? Or is it because dead stuff is romantic?

    All the people I know who keep dead stuffed animals are my parents’ friends, and most definitely not hip.

  4. I love a bit of clutter although I don’t think I can abide the dead things. I’m quite happy with my occasional deer antler from Richmond Park but that is it!

  5. sam says:

    sad isn’t it that I am at a certain age where thoughts turn to the aspect of cleaning….
    I don’t see sunny days anymore – just an opportunity to get a load of washing done :o(

  6. James says:

    very inspiring!

  7. zerodrame says:

    Wunderbar! I posted some evocative pictures by Barry Lewis on my tumblr a while back (now my tumblr looks different).

    Malplaquet house by Barry Lewis: http://barrylewisphotography.com/pm/pages/imagegroup.public.display.php?igId=280

  8. Ann says:

    Never saw or heard of this place! I hang my head in shame to say I don’t actually hate the bathroom.

    The rest of it (including the bathroom, I admit) is reminiscent of a goth-flavored Mom of Shoes decor job.

  9. liz says:

    This is my dream. As a little girl, I always wished I could live in the munster’s house, or the Addam’s family, or some eccentric old lady’s mansion. I’m slowly trying to turn my tiny apartment into a miniature of this, but less cluttered.

  10. Ack my house may soon look like that! thankfully I’m on a massive clean out before I’m overrun! quite interesting though, love to visit for a day!
    XXX
    Suzanne

  11. I love this place, the interior is wonderful. I didn’t know about it and I live in East London. I shall make sure I go and visit now xx

  12. Nicole says:

    This reminds me of House on the Rock in Wisconsin!
    Or my Dad’s house…with his 200+ “antique blowtorch” collection.
    I have to say I love multiples of things as well, but you have to keep this shit in check unless you want to end up on A&E’s “Hoarders”!

  13. drollgirl says:

    i need shrines to my own insanity! must add that to my TO-DO list.

  14. Alicia says:

    This house would give me nightmares.

  15. kate says:

    i can’t help loving taxidermy, i have since i was a kid. my mom always vetoed it since it’s creepy. and yet, as much as i love a nice shoulder mount, when you stuff a bunch of specimens in one room… it starts to smell pretty bad. my biggest emotional reaction to these pictures isn’t “love it,” “hate it,” or even “meh,” it’s “what a bitch to clean!”

  16. alittlelux says:

    liz! i was the same way… when I was little i imagined growing up and living in a house like the addam’s family or the haunted mansion. i wanted to grow up and be like morticia!

    SW- more obsessive hoarding: http://www.thetreasuresoflonggonejohn.com/

    watch the preview to catch a glimpse into his house… it’s nutty. records, toys, books, artwork that’s worth millions of dollars just laying on the floor. i think he had cats too…

  17. Andra says:

    I thought it was your house.

  18. Nickie Frye says:

    I like it but I wouldn’t want to dust it.

  19. Cricket9 says:

    I understand an obsession with hoarding art (even suspiciously crappy art) but I really hate all these trophy heads, antlers, and in general dead animals parts. If they are real – there is a dead animal killed by some idiot for no good reason; if they are fake – what’s the point?
    I occasionally dream about a minimalist house, or a minimalist lifestyle – a buddhist monk with a begging bowl etc. – but I know that it’s not going to happen, no matter how many car loads I drive to Goodwill each time I move, certain things alway find ways to come back.

  20. Sister Wolf says:

    Sam & Nickie – They have a cleaning lady to dust shit. There’s a photo of her at the link Zarodrame posted.

  21. Nikki says:

    It reminds me of the NIN goth video The Perfect Drug. Trent looks like he has a monstrous headache throughout, I’m sure because that kind of dusty clutter makes one feel claustrophobic & oppressed. I lived in a haunted (for real), dark, mahogany Victorian… it always gave me the creeps even without all the animal preservation of this place.

    And, growing up with a flaming Catholic mum gave me a life long aversion to religious artifacts… the plethora of large, dark crucifixes, holy water bottles, dried palms, rosaries & 2-ft tall ceramic Infants of Prague & St. Judes made the Vatican look barren. I always felt the need to whisper to prevent a nun from flying out of nowhere like a ninja to pummel my knuckles with a yard stick & force me to kneel for 2-hrs, confessing my sin of speech to some vengeful god.

    Zero, those pics initially looked very enticing… it was the perfect use of light that drew me in. Upon enlargement, that baby head under glass will keep me awake for several nights at least.

    SW, even more than some of the horridly chunky shoes you’ve showcased, I fear this house with an asthmatic passion. I’m sure there’s a Norman Bates’ mum in the attic & more than a few angry spirits of all species wandering about. I’m staying away from the Whaley House in San Diego, too… for those who don’t know, purported to be the most haunted house in America. Now, I’m going back to stare at my cornflower blue print rug for an hour to jolt the mean & scary birds, crucifixion scenes & ox & ram skulls out of my system… yikes!

  22. Sister Wolf says:

    Nikki – Oh dear, I envy your Catholic childhood (psychotic atheist jews, here) but let me post some ugly garments for you! xoxoxox

  23. Aja says:

    Looks like it smells in there.

  24. Sister Wolf says:

    Aja – Oh, I wouldn’t go that far. I think it smells like frankincense and holy water, with some earthy civet and musk.

  25. i wish they were my kookie uncles. . .

  26. Nicole says:

    TONIGHT IN BROOKLYN: 5TH Annual Taxidermy Contest
    http://secretscienceclub.blogspot.com/2010/12/secret-science-club-presents-5th-annual.html

    Of course it’s in Brooklyn!!!

  27. Cricket9 says:

    Nikki, you really CAN write! In my mind, I just see the ninja nun flying through the air (adroitly avoiding the plaster figures of the saints and such) with the ruler, ready to strike. I’m sure I’ll have bad dreams…

  28. Sister Wolf says:

    Andra – But what KEY item is missing, eh????

    Nicole – I bet Gnarly will be there with her Old Man!!!!!

  29. Audi says:

    It sort of reminds me of Franz Ferdinand’s country estate in the Czech Republic, called KonopiÅ¡tÄ›. Franz was obsessed with hunting, and the lodge has literally hundreds if not thousands of stuffed creatures on the walls, plus a massive collection of armor and medieval weapons. It’s exceedingly creepy, but at the same time fascinating. Not that I would want my house to look like that — I’m not cool enough to be that stoked about taxidermy.

  30. Sister Wolf says:

    Audi – You’re not Gnarly enough to be that stoked, true.

  31. Andra says:

    Sis, I’m thinking a rampant grizzly bear.

  32. Sister Wolf says:

    Andra – No, silly! It’s missing a Lesbian Stick!

  33. Andra says:

    Ah my God. Of course. I figured it would definitely be in there somewhere.
    Sorry about that. It’s been a busy day.
    Much love
    Andra

  34. Andra says:

    I hope you people realise and appreciate that we have Ms Oprah et al here in Australia currently. I think there about 400 of them altogether but Ms O did not travel on the same plane as the masses.

    She actually touched down (but did not leave her private jet) at Cairns (where I live) this morning so she didn’t have to go through customs with the peasants I imagine. And quite right too!

    It was 33 c. (around 104F I think) and 99% humidity at the time so I don’t think she would have fancied the tarmac too much. We are only a small city and cannot afford to air condition air tarmac.

    And furthermore, I think the red carpet got drenched during the inch or so of rain we had during the night.

    Hell, and I had planned on going out to the airport and waving a sarong at her…. had I managed to steal that damned lesbian stick a couple of years ago I would have that. I bet that would have got her attention. Or maybe Gayle’s.

    I see I have been slipping (old age, too much wine and disappearing marbles) but I promise to get back on the lesbian stick trail.
    I will write a note, that always helps.

    Wanders into the sunset muttering…. write note, find lesbian stick, where wine?

    More love

    Andra

  35. Nikki says:

    SW – Aside from idol/relic hording, my impression has always been that Catholic upbringing + adult running for the hills from the Vatican = psychotic athiest Jew. We are brethren (my apologies, I don’t know the feminine version/substitute for that word).

    I’d also end with xoxoxo, but I’m sure, given that we’re both women, that’s considered a lesbian act by the Church & due to my shunning them at 14, I’m already relegated to heaven’s cheap seats via standby only. By just implying that I would have written it, I’m already in deeper trouble as V. City also controls thought processes (can’t think, touch, do, say, read or view anything which might make one fun)… meaning, now look what you’ve just gotten me into… I forfeit my bleacher seats & will enjoy pergatory for a millennium of millennia.

    Note to Self: Stop speaking with psychotic atheist Jews. They’re worse than lapsed Catholics & of course, the witches.

    Cricket – You’re very kind, thank you for your compliment. It sounds like you did not endure the Catholic Inquisition as a child? When one thinks it’s over, an evil woman who hates humanity will appear at an elevator clad in black skirt/jacket & suddenly, slowly turn around with a cracked smile which rivals Damien in The Omen, to reveal a white shirt underneath… she knows full well what she’s doing in her wicked nun gear.

    All former Catholics simultaneously look like deer caught in headlights, hang heads in shame for we must have committed some unforgivable sin & plunge knuckles deeply into pockets. She’s sent by the Jesuits to keep lapsed Catholics steeped in guilt & scare us back to the collection basket. I’m glad I now live in San Diego where wearing black means one is either wait staff or a vampire. Both are far easier to handle than nuns… & perhaps psychotic atheist Jews. xoxoxo

  36. Sister Wolf says:

    Andra – Much love back. We have been through a lot together haven’t we?

    Nikki – You are only a 2 hour drive from me. We need to meet, as we are indeed brethen. I’ll wear my rosary and my star of David.

  37. Nikki says:

    SW – Good news that I’ll be buying a car after the 1st of the year, when Mercury Retrograde decides to leave us alone. I’d love to take a drive to meet you. Be forewarned, if I’m startled by the sight of a rosary, I may accidentally douse you with Holy water & mumble Latin incantations whilst thrice striking you with dried palms. That’ll scare the psychotic atheist Jew out of ya… xoxoxoxo

  38. tressie says:

    does this home, or does it not, remind us of the ‘shroom dens of SF? Or have I dropped entirely too much acid….

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