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Ticket to the Private Theatre at Wynnstay
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.