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the attached scan shows what i believe is called a Victorian 'scrap' and i think is meant to decorate a scarpbook.

the indication of REVELRY struck me as an apt image to wish BT a Merry Christmas

this 'scrap' like two others i have shows what i take to be a variety/music hall ballerina and her female/travesty partner.

i suppose contemporaneous users of these scraps might well know the ballet being depicted as Revelry.

or perhaps it's general revelry with the ballerina in her lilac? trimmed costume delicately supported by her helmeted and kilt-wearing partner.

i suspect mel will be able to 'read' this military garb to a degree. (note the heeled pumps on the military partner!)


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This may be something I've been looking for for several years. I think it's a representation of the pas de deux from the Sir Arthur Sullivan ballet "Victoria and Merrie England" produced at the Alhambra theater in 1897 as a Jubilee Celebration for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee! If it is, then the "military figure" is none other than - Pierina Legnani en travesti! She danced the Guardian Genius of Britain(here pictured), the May Queen, the Snow Fairy and Queen Victoria at her coronation in the production, which held the stage at the theater for over six months. Choreography was by Carlo Coppi.

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well, shut m'mouth! if your hunch is correct!!

i was just hoping for a little riff on the iconography of the militaristic garb of mlle. le partner, not a possible link to ballet history's seminal 1895 odette/odile.

wonder if we'll ever for sure.

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Well, she's wearing a sleeveless doublet based on the uniform of the Grenadier Guards (a single row of buttons), a half-cuirass around her abdomen, which is about as useless a piece of armor as ever was invented, and a kilt/philabeg of no particular place or clan, greaves over her shins, the whole surmounted by a romance version of a classical Roman helmet. (Check out the lion's heads on the greaves. Maybe more indication of Englishness?)

The nymph in the picture is just as interesting as the Guardian Genius. Seems that in "Victoria etc.", all the nymphs wore heliotrope!

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