Historical information

The French Collection was donated to the Society in 2022. This collection includes documents, artworks, books, costumes and artefacts belonging to two families. A number belonged to, or were made by the grandparents of the donor: Vida May Wing and her husband Hubert Charles McDonald. [Other items belonging to Vida and Hubert are in the collections of the Australian Performing Arts Museum and Museum Victoria.] A second significant group of objects were gifts made to the donor's family by Lucy (Jean) Hornby of Queen Street, Kew whose family had been early settlers in the district.

Vida May Wing was born in Richmond in 1882. A noted teacher of plain, fancy and step dancing, during the first two decades of the twentieth century she held annual fancy dancing and floral balls, where her pupils were the performers. In 1916, she married Hubert Charles McDonald. She died in 1959.

Physical description

Upright, embossed celluloid, silk iined vanity dresser box which belonged to Vida May McDonald (nee Wing). The sides of the box are covered with purple figured velvet while the lids are covered with embossed celluloid. The case has a number of panels which open to reveal its pink silk lined interior which was once fitted out with mirrors, combs, brushes, and makeup jars.

Inscriptions & markings