Friday, May 23, 2014

Print of the Day: A Ticket to Wynnstay, 1786

Click on image for admission.

Ticket to the Private Theatre at Wynnstay
Wales, 1786
The British Museum

Printed in 1786, this work of rusty red ink on very thick card was produced as a novelty admission ticket for the theatre at Wynnstay. Wynnstay was a grand Seventeenth Century estate in Wales which became the home of Eighteenth Century politician and statesman, Sir Watkin Williams-Wynn, 4th Baronet. Wynnstay boasted an elegant private theatre for which Williams-Wynn would have attractive tickets printed to issue to his guests as mementos of their evening’s entertainment.

This ticket features Mr. Punch, Judy, the Baby and the Devil standing around a barrel which has been adorned with theatrical masks. “Wynnstay” is printed prominently in the center.

In the Nineteenth Century, Wynnstay was a favorite visitation spot for Queen Victoria and her mother, the Duchess of Kent. A hundred years later, the estate had fallen into disrepair and the house was sold off and converted into a school. Later, it was cut up into flats and several private homes. The gardens are now in a continued state of revival.

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