A striking pale pink mansion in the exclusive Primrose Hill area of London has just gone on the market for a tad over $11 million (£9 million). Other than its standout color, the mansion’s claim to fame is that it is purported to be the home that helped inspire the 1956 Dodie Smith novel “101 Dalmatians.”
According to London’s Evening Standard, the eight-bedroom home on Albert Terrace is not far from Smith’s former home on Dorset Square. The children’s novelist would regularly walk past the mansion with her nine — nine! — dalmatians on her way to Regent’s Park. According to literary researchers, the home is thought to be the inspiration behind the fictional house of dalmatian parents Perdita and Pongo and their owners Roger and Anita Dearly — when Smith’s novel was first published, it featured illustrations of a pink manse almost identical to the one on Albert Terrace.
The artwork of the novel’s first edition was done by illustrating sisters Janet and Anne Johnston. Their portrayal of the dogs’ home is strikingly similar to the Albert Square property, down to its pillared portico and glass-paneled front door that opens to a lavish entrance hall, drawing room and study. Constructed in 1847 and last sold in 1987, the four-story home measures in at just under 5,000 square feet. Since the property’s last sale, Primrose Hill, a small village-like area of stately Victorian terraces and eye-catching pastel-colored Regency townhouses surrounding the northern end of the park, has undergone a rapid appreciation with chic restaurants and shops popping up throughout the now-bustling area.
The interior of the home itself though, while not in disrepair, has admittedly seen better days; it’s a bit shabby chic with emphasis on the shabby. Tired floral drapes, lifeless discolored velvet cushions, peeling paint and scuffed woodwork don’t do this grand-dame townhouse of children’s literature justice. A full-scale renovation would see the home transformed into a glammy modern mansion, no doubt adding considerable equity to the property in a post-pandemic real estate market.
Smith’s novel was made into an animated Disney classic in 1961 and two subsequent live-action versions (“101 Dalmatians” in 1996 and its sequel, “102 Dalmatians” in 2000) were made with Glenn Close starring as the evil Cruella de Vil. A prequel, fittingly entitled “Cruella,” is set to release later this year with Emma Stone and Emma Thompson headlining the film.
The sale is being handled by Beauchamp Estates.