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Scrap - Print Collection

Print Collection

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Great Britain (printed)

  • Date:

    ca.1890 (printed)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown (artist)
    Siegmund Hildesheimer & Co. (printer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Printed paper

  • Credit Line:

    Given by the British Theatre Museum Association

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Scraps first appeared in the early 19th century as black and white engravings, and were later coloured by hand. By the 1820s they had become more elaborate and sometimes embossed, and within a decade both the printing and embossing processes were automated. They were colour printed by chromolithography, and coated with a gelatine and gum layer to give them a gloss finish. After being embossed they were die-cut and put through a stamping press to cut away the unwanted areas of paper, leaving the individual images connected by small strips, often bearing the name or initials of the maker.

Scraps became extremely popular in Victorian England to be cut out by adults or children and stuck into albums, on to screens, or used for decorating greetings cards. This is one of a series of scraps featuring portraits of contemporary theatrical 'types'. It depicts the 'man about town' music hall character, sometimes called the 'swell', this one sporting a fashionable type of moustache made popular in London in the 1860s and 1870s by Edward Southern who played a character called Dundreary who had whiskers like these. in the play Our American Cousin,

Physical description

Full-colour paper scrap depicting the head of a young man or 'swell' with a grey 'Dundreary' moustache, wearing a white bow tie, a monocle in his right eye, a black top hat, blue gloves, holding a cane to his face. Titled 'Music Hall Topical'.

Place of Origin

Great Britain (printed)


ca.1890 (printed)


Unknown (artist)
Siegmund Hildesheimer & Co. (printer)

Materials and Techniques

Printed paper


Height: 5.6 cm irregular, Width: 2.7 cm irregular

Descriptive line

Printed paper scrap depicting a musical hall performer or 'swell', entitled Music Hall Topical. Colour lithograph printed by Siegmund Hildesheimer & Co., ca.1890.


Paper; Ink




Entertainment & Leisure


Theatre and Performance Collection

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