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Edmund Kean as Richard III, c.1815

This figure of Richard III was first produced in 1773-5. It originally represented David Garrick and was modelled after the painting by Francis Hayman (1760). The Derby factory seems to have substituted the head of a currently popular actor on the figure of Richard III. A later model was made with the head of John Philip Camble (1790s), and finally in 1815 the figure was issued with the head of Edmund Kean.

Edmund Kean (1787-1833) appeared at Drury Lane, London in 1814 as Shylock. The role of Richard III followed, and Kean demonstrated a fine ability to express the whole range of tragic emotions. A Derby figure of Kean was produced immediately after his triumphal performance.

Image from: Derby Museum and Art Gallery



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