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The Duke of Plaza Toro

  • Object:

    Wig

  • Place of origin:

    Great Britain (made)

  • Date:

    ca.1929 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Ricketts, Charles, born 1866 - died 1931 (designers)
    Gustave (wig-makers)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Human and animal hair on silk gauze and netting

  • Credit Line:

    Given by the British Theatre Museum Association

  • Museum number:

    S.1420-1984

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Wig for the Duke of Plaza Toro in The Gondoliers, performed by the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company at the Savoy Theatre in 1929. First performed in 1889, The Gondoliers was the twelfth compic operetta written by W.S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan. The 1929 production marked the reopening of the newly renovated Savoy Theatre, and featured new sets and costumes designed by Charles Ricketts.

Physical description

18th-century style long full-bottomed wig. Made from long grey human hair and short coarse animal hair, probably yak hair, curled and hooked into a silk gauze cap. The gauze at the forehead has been covered by stage make-up. At some point the wig has been re-lined with a second layer of gauze. Long sides - designed to sit in front of the shoulders - are lined with caul netting. Poppers on the underside of this netting would have attached the wig to the costume, preventing the wig from moving during performance. The shape of these sides is held by metal springs encased in taping. The ends are adorned by two blue striped silk ribbons. A plait at the back of the head is held in place by a broad, flat stiffened bow, made from cotton fabric lined with buckram. The tails of the bow are made from watered silk ribbon.

Place of Origin

Great Britain (made)

Date

ca.1929 (made)

Artist/maker

Ricketts, Charles, born 1866 - died 1931 (designers)
Gustave (wig-makers)

Materials and Techniques

Human and animal hair on silk gauze and netting

Marks and inscriptions

"Gustave, 10 Long Acre, London"

Dimensions

Circumference: 58.5 cm

Object history note

Given to the British Theatre Museum Association by Bridget D'Oyly Carte in November 1966.

Descriptive line

Wig for the Duke of Plaza Toro in The Gondoliers, D'Oyly Carte, Savoy Theatre, 1929

Materials

Human hair; Hair; Silk gauze; Net (textile); Cotton; Buckram; Watered silk

Techniques

Wig-making

Categories

Entertainment & Leisure; Theatre; Opera

Collection

Theatre and Performance Collection

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