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Theatre costume

Theatre costume

  • Date:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Machine stitching, fringing, padding, faille, silk.

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Peter F. Bazeley

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Physical description

'Dame' costume from an unidentified pantomime. Long-sleeved body suit cutting off just above the thighs featuring exaggerated 'feminine' padding to suggest a large bust and posterior, parodying a 'principal boy' tunic of the late 19th century/early 20th century. Black faille fabric with gold silk at chest and upper sleeves. Bodice silk is bordered with green and gold braiding and is embellished with jewel clusters at corners. Sleeve silk is bordered with strips of purple velvet, decorated with 'crystal' buttons. There are mock-crystal 'shard' buttons at cuffs and diamantés at the side of each hip. Black knotted fringe shadows the bottom hemline. Hook and eye closure along the centre of the back.



Materials and Techniques

Machine stitching, fringing, padding, faille, silk.


Width: 14 cm Collar opening, Length: 84 cm Neckline to crotch, Width: 48 cm Waist, Width: 42 cm Shoulder to shoulder, Length: 64 cm Shoulder to cuff, Weight: 2.1 kg

Object history note

Pantomime dame costume ca.1930-1950 from an unidentified production. It has been suggested that the costume was worn by an actor playing dame at Wimbledon Theatre in the 1930s or 1950s.

Descriptive line

'Dame' costume from unidentified production, possibly Wimbledon, 1930s or 1950s. Long-sleeved body suit in black and gold with jewel embellishments, fringing and exaggerated padding.

Production Note

Reason For Production: Commission


Faille; Silk



Subjects depicted

Drag; Pantomime


Entertainment & Leisure; Stage costumes

Production Type



Theatre and Performance Collection

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