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Theatre costume
  • Theatre costume
    Sheringham, George, born 1884 - died 1937
  • Enlarge image

Theatre costume

  • Place of origin:

    Great Britain (made)

  • Date:

    1931 (Made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Sheringham, George, born 1884 - died 1937 (Costume designer)
    Manya Mlle (Theatrical costumiers)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Synthetic fabric, net, organdie and tarlatan

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Bridget Crowley

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Physical description

Calf-length ballet costume, the bodice in new blue synthetic fabric cut low at the front and very low at the back, the puff sleeves of off white fine net, with a tiny off white fine net frill around neckline. The knee-length overskirt is of white synthetic fabric painted with stylised pattern of chrome yellow 'buds' and black 'foliage', over which is a long narrow apron of fine white net overlaid and edged with vertical stripes of blue synthetic fabric. From beneath the overskirt protrudes a frill of blue organdie, attached to a 'skirt' of white net. Beneath are two layers serrated-edge blue tarlatan and three layers of white serrated-edge tarlatan. The costume is built onto white tarlatan knickers with frilled legs. The boned bodice is lined with white cotton and the underskirts are attached to stiffening around the hips, forming a 'basque'. The costume fastens at the back with hooks and eyes on the bodice and a press stud on the skirt.

Place of Origin

Great Britain (made)


1931 (Made)


Sheringham, George, born 1884 - died 1937 (Costume designer)
Manya Mlle (Theatrical costumiers)

Materials and Techniques

Synthetic fabric, net, organdie and tarlatan

Marks and inscriptions

Label; Down back left opening; Machine embroidery

"Mrs. E. Marks. / 2A. Queens Mans. / Blackpool / No. 1"
Textual information; Right back bodice; Handwriting; Ink; Unknown


Circumference: 63 cm waist, Length: 104 cm, Width: 61.5 cm, Weight: 1.3 kg

Object history note

The costume was designed by George Sheringham for Katie Willows in Frederick Ashton's ballet "The Lord of Burleigh", produced by the Camargo Society in 1931 and by the Vic-Wells (now Royal) Ballet in 1932; the role of Katie Willows was created by Alicia Markova. The costume probably belonged to Markova, who possibly paid for it to be made, as, after Pavlova's death, her costumier, Manya, made most of Markova's costumes. The costume later became part of the wardrobe of Arts Educational School.

Historical significance: This is one of the very few costumes to survive from the Camargo Society productions in the late 1920s and early 1930s. The Society was founded in 1930 after the death of Diaghilev to produce ballet to subscription audiences using British dancers and commissioning designs from British artists and designers and had an important influence upon the emerging British ballet groups formed under Marie Rambert and Ninette de Valois. "The Lord of Burleigh" was taken into the Vic-Wells (now Royal) Ballet repertory in 1932, and so the costume is probably also the earliest Vic-Wells costume to survive.

Descriptive line

Costume designed by George Sheringham for Katie Willows in Frederick Ashton's ballet The Lord of Burleigh, 1931, worn by Alicia Markova.


Synthetic fabric; Net; Organdie; Tarlatan


Entertainment & Leisure; Theatre costume; Dance


Theatre and Performance Collection

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