Costume for 'Lady Macbeth' in MACBETH (Beetle wing costume)

Alice Laura Comyns-Carr, Mrs Joseph Comyns-Carr (1850-1927)
National Trust Inventory Number 1118839.1

Category Costume
Date 1888
Materials Beetle wings, Cotton, Glass, Lace, Metal, Silk
Place of origin London
Collection Smallhythe Place, Kent (Accredited Museum)
On show at Smallhythe Place, Kent, London and South East, National Trust

Ellen Terry wore this “beetle wing” dress for an 1888 performance of 'Macbeth' at the Lyceum Theatre. The dress, designed by Alice Comyns Carr, is adorned with real wings shed naturally by the jewel beetle of Southeast Asia. Carr, who worked closely with Terry on her costumes, wrote that the dress should look “like soft chain armour… [and] give the appearance of the scales of a serpent”.

Summary description

Part of costume (dress) for Ellen Terry as Lady Macbeth in 'Macbeth' Lyceum Theatre, 1888. Designed by Alice Comyns Carr and worn for portrait by Singer Sargeant. Green and metallic thread ?knitted mesh adorned with beetlewings. Green silk lined bat-wing sleeves, decorated with metal threads. Cotton lace collar. Jewels at throat. Associated with cloak NT/SMA/TC/114b.

Makers and roles

Alice Laura Comyns-Carr, Mrs Joseph Comyns-Carr (1850-1927), designer

Related items

Place of origin London (27490)
Materials Beetle wings (5)
Cotton (16324)
Glass (40759)
Lace (5233)
Metal (113801)
Silk (11168)
Category Costume (22420)
Collection Smallhythe Place, Kent (Accredited Museum) (3131)
Periods 19th century (87156)
Maker Alice Laura Comyns-Carr, Mrs Joseph Comyns-Carr (1850-1927) (2)
Subjects Shakespeare (220)
Object Type Dress (2297)

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