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Theatre costume

  • Date:

    1920-1929 (made)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Painted moulded cotton and papier-mâché with hessian reinforcement

  • Credit Line:

    Cyril W Beaumont Bequest

  • Museum number:

    S.785-2001

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Physical description

Half mask to fit above eyes and across upper cheeks and nose, with slightly bulging cheeks and eye holes. With elastic (perished) attached across at eye level and from centre back to centre forehead. Inscribed: "Leon Wojcikewski / 2.7.26./ London". Constructed from moulded cotton reinforced with papier-mâché and, inside reinforced with hessian at the sides and with flannel protection above the nose. There are darning repairs above the nose and left eye.

Date

1920-1929 (made)

Materials and Techniques

Painted moulded cotton and papier-mâché with hessian reinforcement

Dimensions

Width: 222 mm, Depth: 120 mm at centre

Object history note

The mask was worn by Leon Woizikowski as Niccolo, the waiter, in Leonide Massine's ballet "The Good Humoured Ladies", premiered by the Diaghilev Ballets Russes in 1916; he danced Niccolo in the majority of the performances of the ballet given by the company. The inscription implies that he gave the mask to Cyril Beaumont in 1926, which was the last time the ballet was performed by the Company in London, although it was performed elsewhere in 1927.
The mask came to the Museum as part of the Cyril Beaumont Bequest.

Historical significance: Beaumont acquired a number of props and costume parts from various dancers, usually appropriately identified and inscribed. The custom of giving parts of a costume as souvenirs has a long history and there is the legend that Nijinsky's dresser would sell petals from his Spectre de la rose costume to his fans. Beaumont's collection included such small props and costume accessories as fans, masks and scarves and must have caused the Wardrobe a small headache as these items disappeared.

Descriptive line

Mask worn by Leon Woizikowski in Leonide Massine's ballet The Good Humoured Ladies, Diaghielv Ballet 1920s. Painted moulded cotton and papier-mâché

Materials

Cotton (textile); Papier-mâché; Paint; Hessian; Flannel

Collection

Theatre and Performance Collection

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