Photograph

Ellen Terry as Dora

1878 (photographed)

unknown

Height: 30.6 cm, Width: 23 cm

S.637-2014 T&P

Crystoleum print of the actress Ellen Terry (1847-1928) in the title role in Dora by Charles Reade (1814-1884), 1878.

Crystoleum print of the actress Ellen Terry (1847-1928) as Dora, 1878. The glass plate is mounted in a metal frame. Terry's dress has been hand coloured in a pale lilac and her cap and dress are trimmed with a band of copper coloured ribbon.

Crystoleum print of the actress Ellen Terry (1847-1928) in the title role of Dora by Charles Reade (1814-1884), 1878. Charles Reade was a writer and dramatist who staged a number of productions in London in the 1860s and 1870s. Terry appeared in several of Reade's productions between 1874 and 1878, establishing herself as one of the leading interpretors of Philippa Chester in The Wandering Heir (1874), and playing the title role of Dora in a tour throughout Britain in 1878. Reade's production of Dora was inspired by Tennyson's poem of the same name, first published in 1842. The Crystoleum process rose to popularity in the 1870s and remained in use until around 1910. An albumen print was pasted face down to the inside of a convex piece of glass. Once the adhesive (usually starch paste or gelatin) was dry, the paper backing of the print was rubbed away, leaving only the transparent emulsion on the glass. The image was then coloured by hand, using oil paints. A second piece of convex glass was fitted behind the first so that the albumen print was held between the two. The back of the second piece of glass was then painted with large areas of oil colour to compliment the detail coloring on the back of the image. To complete the image, a piece of thick white cardstock was applied to the back of the second piece of glass and all three layers were bound together with gummed paper like a lantern slide.

Acquired by the British Theatre Museum Association in May 1965.

Given by the British Theatre Museum Association

Location: In Storage

View this object on the V&A website