Giaffier : The Bride of Abydos
"David Garrick Esq. The Face Mr. & Mrs. Garrick's Hair mixt with Colours, The Wig Mr. Garrick's hair. Worked by Miss Lane and purchased of her 20th Jany 1779." (engr. verso of case)
Bought by Richard Bebb from John Hall, Harrington Road, South Kensington
The figure seems represented in a moment in Act II, scene 1, as seen in West’s Theatrical Portraits No. 1, called “Mr H. Johnston as Giaffier”, published 24 February 1824. Pugh concludes that since the costume on the figure differs from that on the print, the figure must originate from the production at Astley’s on 5 April 1847.
Pugh, pp. 78-79, pl. 26, fig 57; Harding, fig. 985
Giaffier stands holding in his left hand a firman (sovereign’s decree). He wears a blue coat over pale orange trousers, a long orange cloak edged with ermine, orange shoes, and a pink turban with a large feather.
"The Bride of Abydos", a poem by Byron (1813), seems first to have appeared on the stage in a very successful dramatised version by William Dimond at Drury Lane Theatre on 5 February 1818. Giaffier was played by H. Johnston and the cast included Edmund Kean and Thomas P. Cooke. A burlesque version by an anonymous author was licensed on 10 March 1847 and opened at Astley’s on 5 April 1847, with Barton as Giaffier. Barton, an actor in tragedy and melodrama at Brighton about 1820, appeared at the Bowery Theatre in New York in 1848. He died in England in that year, soon after appearing as Giaffier.