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Print Collection

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Great Britain (printed)

  • Date:

    ca. 1890 (printed)

  • Artist/Maker:

    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 scrap is one of a set of twelve produced by Signumd Hildesheimer & Company depicting Shakespearean characters played by popular actors. They were sold in packs costing one shilling, titled Characters from Shakespeare. A Series of Twelve Relief Scraps.G.V. Brooke (1818-1866) played Shylock at the Olympic Theatre in 1848 to great acclaim, and frequently played with Helen Faucit (1814-1898) as his leading lady.

Physical description

Multicoloured paper scrap, complete for cutting out, with printed lines of text, depicting G.V. Brooke as Shylock and Helen Faucit as Portia, from The Merchant of Venice Act IV, scene 1. Chromolithograph printed by Siegmund Hildesheimer & Co., ca.1890, with the monogram of Siegmund Hildesheimer & Co., and the number 430. Printed with the title: CHARACTERS FROM SHAKESPEARE SHEET 3

Place of Origin

Great Britain (printed)


ca. 1890 (printed)


Siegmund Hildesheimer & Co. (printer)

Materials and Techniques

Printed paper


Height: 14.8 cm irregular, Width: 13.3 cm irregular

Descriptive line

Shakespearean characters paper scrap depicting Gustavus Vaughan Brooke (1816-1866) as Shylock and Helen Faucit (1914-1898) as Portia, in The Merchant of Venice Act IV, scene 1. Chromolithograph printed by Siegmund Hildesheimer & Co., ca.1890.



Subjects depicted

Scales (weighing devices); Bonds (legal records)


Entertainment & Leisure


Theatre and Performance Collection

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