|Lionel Brough as "Touchstone"|
English, c. 1860
The Victoria & Albert Museum
This photograph of Nineteenth-Century, English Shakespearean actor Lionel Brough as shows the performer as “Touchstone” in “As You Like It,” and dates to about 1860. Produced during a time when photography was considered a novelty, this image is the sort which Victorian actors and actresses would have taken either in their street clothes or in costume. These albumen prints made from glass images were a popular entertainment, first as smaller cartes de visite (1854), and, then, as cabinet cards.
This carte de visite was part of the huge and important collection of Guy Tristram Little (d.1953), a lawyer and collector of ephemera, who bequeathed the lot to the V&A.
I just bet you can’t guess why I like it.