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Figurine - Robert Loraine as Mirabell

Robert Loraine as Mirabell

  • Object:

    Figurine

  • Place of origin:

    Great Britain (made)

  • Date:

    1924 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Walker, Agatha (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Moulded plaster coated in wax and coloured

  • Credit Line:

    Accepted by HM Government in lieu of Inheritance Tax and allocated to the Victoria and Albert Museum, 1996

  • Museum number:

    S.1049-1996

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This figurine of Robert Loraine (1876-1935) is one of several executed by Agatha Walker in the 1920s, mostly of actors and actresses in character in successful London stage productions. The 19th century saw a craze for ceramic figurines of performers and Agatha Walker attempted to revive this tradition with her limited edition sculptures, modelled from life in plaster and coated with a fine layer of wax which was then coloured. In 1931 Agatha Walker's wax figures were exhibited at the Fine Art Society.

Robert Loraine was a successful stage actor for over thirty years and also a renowned aviator who made the first flight across the Irish Sea in 1910. He was an RAF fighter pilot in World War I and began acting after his distinguished military career. The figurine shows him as Mirabell in The Way of The World which opened at the Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith, on 7 February 1924. With Edith Evans as Millamant and elegant designs by Doris Zinkheisen, this was another success for Sir Nigel Playfair, the theatre's owner. He had purchased the lease of the derelict Lyric Theatre in a syndicate in 1918 and transformed it into a highly successful venue, putting Hammersmith firmly on the theatrical map.

Physical description

Coloured wax covered figurine of Robert Loraine as Mirabell in The Way of the World, standing on an integral brown base inscribed with details. He stands looking down to his right, with his right hand resting on his hip. He wears a tan frock coat, a long turquoise waistcost edged in salmon pink, a jabot, black breeches, cream stockings and black shoes with turquoise bows. He has a dark brown full-bottomed wig and a black hat.

Place of Origin

Great Britain (made)

Date

1924 (made)

Artist/maker

Walker, Agatha (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Moulded plaster coated in wax and coloured

Dimensions

Height: 34.5 cm, Width: 10.5 cm, Height: 2.5 cm of base, Width: 10.5 cm of base, Depth: 9.3 cm of base

Object history note

The production of The Way of the World by William Congreve in which Robert Loraine played Mirabell opened at the Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith in 7 February 1924. The sculptress Agatha Walker also produced a limited edition figure of Millamant from the same production. (S.1312-1984).

Descriptive line

Figurine by Agatha Walker of Robert Loraine (1876-1935) as Mirabell in The Way of The World, Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith, 7 February 1924. Moulded plaster covered in wax

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Stage Personalities. The Portrait Statuettes of Agatha Walker, The Studio, vol. 101 (1931)

Materials

Plaster; Wax; Pigment

Techniques

Moulding; Painting

Categories

Entertainment & Leisure

Collection

Theatre and Performance Collection

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