Old bone and pewter snuff box
Bone and pewter
"S [?] Wilkins Molini [?] Harlequin of the Queen's Theatre Royal. Edin. 1861" (inscr. on lid)
Presented to the Garrick Club by Richard Willes, 1934
The Queen's Theatre, Edinburgh was built on the site of the current Festival Theatre. There has been a theatre on the site in Nicolson Street longer than any other in that city. It was already being used as a place for public entertainment when Andrew Ducrow first brought his troop to perform at that spot, opening between 6th November 1827 through to 31st January the following year, calling it Ducrow's Arena and Royal Amphitheatre. Such was his success that he even put on supplementary "morning" performances (which actually started at 1pm) so as to allow young children and those from out of town to see the performances, and so popular that the Theatre Royal saw its attendance drop off rapidly.
At other times the various theatre buildings on the site have been known as the Dunedin Hall, Southminster, Alhambra Music Hall, Newsome's Circus, and from 1892, the Empire Palace Theatre. The current theatre dates from 1994.
Unfortunately nothing is known about S Wilkins Molini, but presumably he was presented this snuff box for excelling as a harlequin.