Or are you looking for Search the Archives?

Please complete the form to email this item.

Photograph - Letty Lind as Columbine, Drury Lane Theatre, 17 March 1898
  • Letty Lind as Columbine, Drury Lane Theatre, 17 March 1898
  • Enlarge image

Letty Lind as Columbine, Drury Lane Theatre, 17 March 1898

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Great Britain (photographed)

  • Date:

    19th Century (photographed)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown (photographers)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Sepia photograph on paper

  • Credit Line:

    Bequeathed by Guy Little

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This photograph shows Letty Lind as Columbine which she performed in the pantomime that was part of the six-hour long Farewell Benefit given for Nelly Farren at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane on the 17th March 1898. Other performers in the pantomime included Ellaline Terriss as the Fairy Queen, Arthur Roberts as a policeman and Edmund Payne as Clown, while stars who took part in the rest of the evening included W.S. Gilbert, Effie Bancroft, Rutland Barrington, Kate Vaughan, Marie Lloyd, Albert Chevalier, Henry Irving, Charles Wyndham, Clara Butt, Lydia Thompson, Kate Santley, Herbert Beerbohm-Tree and John Hare. The Benefit raised £7,000 for the retirement of Nelly Farren, who came on stage and said a few words, although barely able to walk without crutches.

Photography was a novel and exciting development in Victorian days. Most actors and actresses had studio photographs taken, in everyday dress or theatrical costume, for ‘cartes de visite’, and later ‘cabinet cards’. Both were albumen prints made from glass negatives, attached to stiff card backing printed with the photographer’s name.

‘Cartes de visite’, the size of formal visiting cards, were patented in 1854 and produced in their millions during the 1860s when it became fashionable to collect them. Their subjects included scenic views, tourist attractions and works of art, as well as portraits. They were superseded in the late 1870s by the larger and sturdier ‘cabinet cards’ whose popularity waned in turn during the 1890s in favour of postcards and studio portraits.

This photograph comes from a large collection of ‘cartes de visite’ and ‘cabinet cards’ removed from their backings and mounted in albums by Guy Tristram Little (d.1953) who bequeathed them to the V&A. A collector of greetings cards, games and photographs, Guy Little was a partner in the legal firm Messrs Milles Jennings White & Foster, and the solicitor and executor of Mrs. Gabrielle Enthoven, whose theatrical collection formed the basis of the Theatre Collections at the V&A.

Physical description

Sepia photograph of Letty Lind on pointe wearing as Columbine in the pantomime at the Nelly Farren retirement Benefit.

Place of Origin

Great Britain (photographed)


19th Century (photographed)


Unknown (photographers)

Materials and Techniques

Sepia photograph on paper


Height: 14.5 cm, Width: 9.9 cm

Object history note

This is one of the outstanding collection of 19th century photographs owned by Guy Little presented to the museum in the early 20th century.

Descriptive line

Photograph of Letty Lind as Columbine in the pantomime performed at the Gala Benefit Performance for Nelly Farren, Drury Lane Theatre, 17 March 1898 . Guy Little Collection.


Photographic paper




Photographs; Portraits


Theatre and Performance Collection

Large image request

Please confirm you are using these images within the following terms and conditions, by acknowledging each of the following key points:

Please let us know how you intend to use the images you will be downloading.