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Albert and Victoria’s collection shows photographers’ working methods

Joseph Cundall (1819-95)

Miss Heath and Miss Leclercq as Florizel and Perdita May 1856

Wet collodion negative | 25.3 x 20.3 cm (whole object) | RCIN 2084934

10" x 8" glass plate negative showing Caroline Heath and Carlotta Leclercq as Florizel and Perdita in The Winter's Tale. Leclercq is standing and wearing a dress with a ribbon tied at the waist, flowers around her head and across her torso. Flowers are also wrapped around a shepherd's crook she is holding with one hand. Heath, playing the male role of Florizel under the guise of a shepherd named Doricles, is sitting at her feet, with one hand resting on the ground and the other holding panpipes to her mouth. They are both on a patterned carpet with a plain background behind them.

Charles Kean's production of The Winter's Tale was staged at the Princess's Theatre, Oxford Street in 1856. Queen Victoria watched the performance on four separate occasions. The casting of Caroline Heath in the male role of Florizel was unusual at this time; Kean further supported the casting of women in male roles with his production of The Tempest where a Miss Bufton played the part of Ferdinand. It is possible that Ernst Becker, Prince Albert's Librarian, arranged the sitting with the photographer on behalf of the Prince or Queen Victoria. The glass plate negative has been photographed showing the coated side and therefore the image appears laterally reversed. Prints from this negative do not seem to exist in the Collection.

  • Creator(s)

    Joseph Cundall (1819-95) (photographer)

    Caroline Heath (1835-87)
    Carlotta Leclercq (1838-93)
  • 25.3 x 20.3 cm (whole object)

  • Acquired by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert

  • Object type(s)
      • visual works
        • photographs
          • negatives
            • glass plate negatives
    • Science, Medicine and Technology
      • Industries, Crafts and Trades
        • Toys and Decorations
          • Theatrical costumes
    • Arts, Recreation, Entertainment & Sport
      • Music
        • Musical instruments
          • Woodwind instruments
            • Flutes
              • Pan-pipes