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Scrap - Print Collection

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 series depicting Shakespearean characters played by popular actors. Edmund Kean (1787-1833) first starred in Richard III at London's Drury Lane Theatre, 12 February 1814.

Physical description

Multicoloured paper scrap depicting Edmund Kean as Richard III wearing a crown and dressed in a violet tunic and damask-patterned ermine-trimmed cape, his hands crossed in front of his chest, standing with two un-named actors dressed in blue tunic and hose, playing Edward Prince of Wales and Richard Duke of York. To the left of King Richard's head is printed some of the dialogue from Richard III with the attribution: 'KING RICHARD III Act III scene 1'. The scrap is incomplete as a sheet before cutting, having the name of the series, the number of the item and the monogram of the printer cut off .

Place of Origin

Great Britain (printed)


ca.1890 (printed)


Siegmund Hildesheimer & Co. (printer)

Materials and Techniques

Printed paper


Height: 14.5 cm maximum height, Width: 12.4 cm maximum width

Object history note

Edmund Kean appeared as Richard III at Drury Lane Theatre, 12 February 1814

Descriptive line

Shakespearean characters paper scrap depicting Edmund Kean (1787-1833) as King Richard III, with two child actors as Edward Prince of Wales and Richard Duke of York, in Richard III, Drury Lane Theatre, 12 February 1814. Chromolithograph printed by Siegmund Hildesheimer & Co., ca.1890.


Paper; Printing ink


Colour lithography; Die cutting


Entertainment & Leisure


Theatre and Performance Collection

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