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

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

Category

Costume

Date

1888

Materials

Beetle wings, Cotton, Glass, Lace, Metal, Silk

Place of origin

London

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Collection

Smallhythe Place, Kent (Accredited Museum)

On show at

Not on show

NT 1118839.1

Caption

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

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, belt and purse NT/SMA/TC/114.

Makers and roles

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

Exhibition history

Sargent and Fashion , Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, USA, 2021 - 2022 Sargent and Fashion , Tate Britain, London, 2021 - 2022

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