Pamela Stanley as Queen Victoria. by MCBEAN, Angus.

~ Pamela Stanley as Queen Victoria. [after 1938].

Victorian indenture on parchment, 50 x 77cm, with collage of photograph, fabric, shells, string, glitter coloured decoupage, watercolour. Bird’s eye maple frame (presumably added by McBean himself).

A large Victorian indenture later decorated by Angus McBean as a surrealist collage, depicting Pamela Stanley as the young Queen Victoria in Laurence Houseman’s Victoria regina at the Gate Theatre in 1938. The photograph is derived from the surreal series done for and published in the weekly Sketch magazine. In 1937 the Lord Chamberlain ruled that no British sovereign may be portrayed on the stage until 100 years after his or her accession. For this reason, Houseman’s Victoria Regina could not be staged until the centenary of Queen Victoria's accession, 20 June 1937.

The photograph (head and arms) is McBean’s’ Pamela Stanley (Lady Cunynghame) as Queen Victoria in 'Victoria Regina'’ (Laurence Houseman), bromide print, 1938 (original size 289 mm x 239 mm).

The Hon. Margaret Pamela Stanley was the daughter of the 5th Baron Stanley of Alderley and acted on the stage and in films in the 1930s as Pamela Stanley. Her greatest success was as Queen Victoria in Laurence Housman’s Victoria Regina, first presented in 1935. Stanley subsequently appeared on Broadway as Ophelia opposite Leslie Howard in Hamlet before a triumphant return to London in her role as Queen Victoria in June 1937. Provenance: The Angus McBean Collection, 12 April 2013, Lacy, Scott & Knight (Bury St Edmunds), lot 242.

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