Mattie Furphy pictured above left, blended with images of Mattie Furphy House and her copper repousse work.

Mattie Furphy, and the story of Mattie Furphy House

Mattie McCausland, 22 years, and her husband Sam Furphy, 24, on their wedding day in 1902.
Mattie Furphy House front entry
Mattie Furphy House front entry

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Mattie Furphy House
Mattie Furphy House

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Mattie Furphy House in natural surrounds, Allen Park, Swanbourne
Mattie Furphy House in natural surrounds, Allen Park, Swanbourne

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Mattie Furphy House front entry
Mattie Furphy House front entry

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Click through on the gallery above to see photos of Mattie Furphy House.

The Fellowship acquired and restored Mattie Furphy House with the help of a grant from Lotterywest. The house is considered to be one of Perth's finest examples of the Arts and Crafts, or Domestic Arts, Movement.

Sarah Martha (Mattie) Furphy (1878-1948), for whom the house was built, was the daughter-in-law of Joseph Furphy. Joseph built Mattie Furphy House in Clement Street, Swanbourne. 

Mattie Furphy came to Perth from Victoria in 1903 with her husband, Sam Furphy, and was a celebrated figure of the 20th Century WA Arts and Craft Movement.

 

Begun around 1907, with a later addition, the house was built to feature the copper repousse work Mattie made during her studies at the Perth Technical School with James Linton. 

In 2004 the Heritage Council of WA asked FAWWA if it would take responsibility for the large wooden home. In April 2005 the house was relocated to the Allen Park Heritage Precinct next to Tom Collins House. 

While Sam and his brother Felix established the Furphy Foundry in Fremantle, Mattie pursued her passion with art, winning scholarships and studying diverse mediums such as free hand drawing and model and cast drawing.

Her forte however, was repousse, the arduous skill of designing in copper. Many well preserved pieces of Mattie's work can be found in Tom Collins House.

 

Her designs of quandongs, dragons, kangaroo paws and other Australian flora were formed into a fireplace mantle, door panels, finger plates, mirrors and sconces.

 

Mattie was an outstanding student at the Perth Technical Art School headed by artist and craftsman, James W.R. Linton. Her work was displayed in London in 1908, winning a Grand Prix and a Diploma of Honour.

 

Read about Mattie Furphy in Dainty but Determined by historian Dorothy Ericson, published in Australiana magazine in 2015. Mattie Furphy House was profiled by abc.net.au in 2014.

 

For more about the heritage of Mattie Furphy House please click here