Figure of Hamlet
Hamlet : Hamlet
Oak; 67.5 x 16.5 x 11 including 2 pieces fixed to back of base as support
“HAMLET” on front of base; “FIGURE OF HAMLET / FOUND IN HENRY IRVING'S DRESSING / ROOM AT THE LYCEUM / BY EDITH CRAIG / AND BEQUEATHED BY HER TO / THE GARRICK CLUB” on brass plaque attached to base
Henry Irving; Edith Craig, by whom bequeathed to the Garrick Club, 1959
A crude work by an amateur, ultimately based on Lawrence's portrait of John Philip Kemble as Hamlet (see G0386). The plumed hat and the casually placed skull derive from the painting. The carver did not understand the point of the Order of the Elephant which has been turned into a clasp. If the provenance is correct, it is likely that Irving was given this carving by an admirer.