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  • Place of origin:

    London (probably, painted)

  • Date:

    1922 (painted)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Smith, William Egerton (artist)

  • Credit Line:

    Given by George Crook

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This plate is one of a set of twelve plates hand-painted by William Egerton Smith (1880-1928), an amateur artist, enthusiastic theatregoer, and uncle of the donor of the plates. He was employed in the accounts department of D.H. Evans in Oxford Street but had a studio in his house at 28, Cambridge Avenue, Kilburn, London NW6 where he painted landscapes, seascapes and portraits.

The subject of this portrait, the actress Ellen Terry (1847-1928) came from a theatrical family and started acting as a child. She was first employed by Sir Henry Irving at the Lyceum Theatre in 1878 and was his leading lady until 1902. Their on-stage partnership became one of the most famous in the history of the theatre. She had retired from the stage by 1922 when William Egerton Smith painted this plate, but was still regarded as one of the greatest and best-loved British actresses. She was made a made a Dame Grand Cross of the Order of the British Empire in 1925.

Place of Origin

London (probably, painted)


1922 (painted)


Smith, William Egerton (artist)

Descriptive line

China tea plate painted in enamels and gold lustre by William Egerton Smith (1880-1928) with a head and shoulders portrait of the actress Ellen Terry, 1922.


Entertainment & Leisure


Theatre and Performance Collection

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