Collections

Child's fur coat

Significance 

This cropped cream and black ermine fur coat was fashioned by Vancouver furrier R.J. Pop, whose business was located at Granville and 15th Streets. The coat belonged Jane Reifel, daughter of the New Westminster brewmaster and distiller, George Reifel who made his fortune running rum to the United State during the prohibition. With his brother, George opened the Commodore ballroom in the early 1930s. The Reifels lived in the famed 20 000 square foot mansion Casa Mia located at 1920 SW Marine Drive. It was there that the young Jane was kept up at night while the family hosted jazz parties in the house’s spectacular ballroom which was equipped with a sprung dance floor, stage and men’s and women’s washrooms. Jane recalled running into late-night guests such as Dizzy Gillespie, Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington or Count Basie who would stay at the house after concerts, as African Americans were not welcome in Vancouver’s high profile hotels at this time.

Date Range 
c. 1940 - 1943
Place of Manufacture 
R.J. Pop, Furrier , Vancouver
Place of Use 
Vancouver
Dimensions 
41.5 cm wide, 40.0 cm high
Museum Location 
Storage
Catalog Number 
H2003.17.1
Donor 
Conrad W. Reifel, 2003