Richard Cook as Richard III

Shakespearean Actors and Their Props

One of my many interests is how the props used in Shakespeare’s plays have evolved over time. One way to discover what props may have possibly appeared on stage is by looking at drawings and photographs of famous Shakespearean actors posing as their characters.

The following images come from a 1900 book called the Shakespeare Rare Print Collection, edited by Seymour Eaton. Most of these actors are from the 18th and 19th century. I cannot tell whether they are posing with actual props from their performances, or if they grabbed real items just to pose for these pictures, but at least it is a starting point.

Mr. Barry as Timon
Mr. Barry as Timon
Mr. Bass as Malvolio
Mr. Bass as Malvolio
Junius Brutus Booth in Richard III
Junius Brutus Booth in Richard III
Mr. Buckstone as Launcelot Gobbo
Mr. Buckstone as Launcelot Gobbo
George Frederick Cooke as Iago
George Frederick Cooke as Iago
Richard Cook as Richard III
Richard Cook as Richard III

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