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Theatre costume

  • Date:

    ca. 1920-1929 (made)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Satin, silk thread, lace, cotton, satin ribbon

  • Credit Line:

    In memory of Bay Harrington - given by Mrs. P. Farley

  • Museum number:

    S.245-2002

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This costume was worn by Bay Harrington. Bay (a corruption of 'Baby', the name by which she was known to her family in which she was the only girl) trained at the Tree Academy as an opera singer and appeared in performances at Covent Garden and at Her Majesty's Theatre. She had the opportunity of continuing her singing studies at La Scala, but her family felt she was too young, and after a bout of TB affected her voice she abandoned grand opera for the variety stage, appearing with concert groups including The Seven Romps in1912 and then in various double acts with other girls including The Trilbies with Eileen Lawler in 1913, touring the Near East and Asia as well as Britain, and with Evelyn Kirkby as Kirkby & Harrington. She appeared in pantomime in London and the regions as well as in variety.

Physical description

Decorative apron of black satin. The small bib top tapers to the waist, and is heavily boned with a small metal plate at centre waist; on the lower right edge is embroidered in silk thread in the form of a red flower with green stems and foliage, the veins in yellow silk. The bib is edged and trimmed diagonally down to the waist with fine black lace. The front panel is cut into a bold serration at the lower edge, in the centre of which is embroidered in silk thread a bold red flower and bud desgin with green foliage with yellow veins and highlighting. Fixed behind the serrated edge is a longer pleated band of black silk. The apron, serrated edge and lower edge are trimmed with fine black lace. The apron is lined in dark grey glazed fine cotton and has black satin ribbon ties fixed at the waist.

Date

ca. 1920-1929 (made)

Materials and Techniques

Satin, silk thread, lace, cotton, satin ribbon

Object history note

The costume was worn by Bay (neƩ Florence Charlotte) Harrington (1891-1983) in an unidentified variety act, possibly in the 1920s.

Historical significance: The costume one of a group of variety costumes worn by Bay Harrington in various acts in the 1920s and 1930s. It is rare to have several costumes for a variety artist from the different acts they devised over their careers.

Descriptive line

Apron worn by Bay Harrington in unidentified play or variety sketch, ca.1920s.

Materials

Satin; Silk thread; Lace; Cotton (textile); Satin ribbon

Techniques

Hand stitching

Collection

Theatre and Performance Collection

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