Not currently on display at the V&A

Print Collection

Scrap
ca.1890 (printed)
Artist/Maker
Place of origin

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'. This portrays the racy type of female music hall performer popular in the 1890s, such as Vesta Tilley or Bessie Bellwood, whose trademark became their performances dressed as a man about town, sometimes called a 'swell' or a 'masher'.

Object details

Category
Object type
TitlePrint Collection (named collection)
Materials and techniques
Printed paper
Brief description
Printed paper scrap depicting a music hall male impersonator such as Vesta Tilley, entitled Pantomime Masher. Colour lithograph printed by Siegmund Hildesheimer & Co., ca.1890.
Physical description
Full colour paper scrap of a blond female music hall performer, head only, wearing a small grey bowler hat, a monocle in her left eye, smoking a cigarette and holding a cane by her face. Titled 'Pantomime Masher'.
Dimensions
  • Irregular height: 5.5cm
  • Irregular width: 2.5cm
Credit line
Given by the British Theatre Museum Association
Summary
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'. This portrays the racy type of female music hall performer popular in the 1890s, such as Vesta Tilley or Bessie Bellwood, whose trademark became their performances dressed as a man about town, sometimes called a 'swell' or a 'masher'.
Associated objects
Other number
1963/G/53 - BTMA accession number
Collection
Accession number
S.4:9-2008

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Record createdJuly 1, 2009
Record URL
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