H.M.S. PINAFORE OPERA SOUVENIR Oblong Glass Dish *RARE* Theatre Memorabilia Circa 1880 to 1900
Beautiful rare example of theatre memorabilia made of EARLY AMERICAN PATTERN GLASS.
The pressed glass dish was a souvenir from the W.S. Gilbert & Arthur Sullivan production, H.M.S. Pinafore; or The Lass that Loved a Sailor, the comic opera said to have had the most profound influence on the development of musical theatre. Gilbert & Sullivan opened the production in London in 1878 and ran it for 571 performances. By 1879, the performance was being played throughout the United States, where theatergoers purchased popular Pinafore themed souvenirs--dolls, household items and sheet music arrangements.
The oblong dish measures 11 ⅛” long by 7 ⅛” wide and depicts a full-body portrait of the production's protagonist, Ralph Rackstraw--the lower class sailor in love with the ship captain's daughter. A nautical spy glass is tucked under Rackstraw's arm and imprinted on his cap are the last four letters, FORE from the ship's name.
The design is embossed on the base, keeping the serving side of the dish smooth, but providing a raised look to the piece. A raised shell decorates both ends of the dish and the lip is embossed on the base with sprays of flowers and leaves.
The glass is very clear with no yellowing or discoloration (although the first image has a greenish tint) and the piece is in great condition--no chips, cracks, or any form of damage or repair.
This would be a wonderful addition to anyone's vintage glass, theatre memorabilia, or nautical collection.
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