Monday, February 4, 2013

Madame Tussauds Snow White Figures

Madame Tussauds waxworks models have been a part of the London tourist attraction scene since the early 1800s. Always up-to-date with who's in the spotlight, the museum is internationally known for it's lifelike celebrity figures. It was circa 1938-39 that a series of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs figurines were fashioned in commemoration of the release of the movie in Britain. A diorama recreated the film's finale where the Prince leads Snow White on horseback off into the sunset as she waves goodbye to the Dwarfs and forest animals.

Amazingly, most of these original figures still exist today but not at the museum. They are made of plaster from moulds which were then destroyed. Each character was hand-painted. Note that you can see a "glint of sunlight" painted on the horse. The Prince stands approximately 12" in height.

UK Collector Joe Morgan shares how these one-of-a-kind pieces were saved from a trip to the landfill...
The figures were lying in the Madame Tussauds archives for years, and one day they were accidentally thrown into a bin during a clear out. My friend, who used to work for the museum, and his colleagues rescued them, but several pieces were destroyed including the Queen and a few trees and animals.

Dopey was also destroyed, but I paid one of the top sculptors in Madame Tussauds to have him remade using the dimensions and style of the existing dwarfs. This is why he looks slightly different, but he is a work of art in his own right. He's made of some sort of resin.

My friend who gave the figures to me also had the open coffin, but he cannot find it. Yet, he promises that one day he will get it to me.

It's interesting that a Queen figure was also part of the original group. Makes me wonder if there was even more to this diorama than just the finale scene since, of course, she was not part of it.

Joe had a cabinet built to store the figures in. It measures 55" wide x 31" high.

The Dwarfs are roughly 8" to 9" tall depending on which one. The Madame Tussauds sculptor that remade Dopey for Joe, also made a second one for his own son before destroying the mould.

The Snow White figures are still in Joe Morgan's collection today, but he has indicated that he's happy to sell them if anyone is interested. If you are, Joe can be reached at:

After Snow White, Madame Tussauds in fact had permission from Disney to create dioramas for other films too, Pinocchio and Treasure Island among them.


  1. I'm so glad that these were saved; how could these have gone to the trash?!

    1. Major, That's the question for sure. How could these have ever ended up in the dumpster? Could it be that there's actually people in the world who don't dig Snow White? ;)