Presented to Charlie Keith
London, Nineteenth Century
The Victoria & Albert Museum
You may remember Charlie Keith’s (1835-1895) from our September look at one of his costumes. This London clown was billed as “the Favourite Clown, Tumbler, Chair and Original Performer,” following in the footsteps of Joseph Grimaldi and his son. In fact, Keith based his white-faced look on Grimaldi’s, even adapting Grimadli’s wig-style, the “three bobble coiffure.” He was so successful that by 1868, he’d opened his own traveling circus. This figural bronze candlestick was presented to Keith in the late Nineteenth Century. The clown figure is likely based on Keith himself. The modeler is unknown.
The bronze is thought to have been given to Keith before his death in 1896. He died in Bury and was buried in Southport. I wonder why he wasn't buried in Bury. That would have suited him better.