CDV: burlesque actor JOHN CLARKE in costume

CDV: burlesque actor JOHN CLARKE in costume

A carte-de-visite portrait of the popular burlesque actor John Clarke, seen her in a splendid costume suggesting Spain or the pampas. A pencilled inscription verso, possibly in a later hand, identifies the role and/or production as âe~Don Giovanniâe(tm).

The following paragraphs are taken from Clarkeâe(tm)s entry in The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography :

âe~In early life he established himself in Farringdon Street, London, as a photographer, but soon gave up this employment to become a general utility actor in various provincial theatres. His London début consisted of a brief appearance at the Strand Theatre under Allcroft's management in January 1852 as Master Toby in John Wilkins's Civilisation . He followed this in October with Fathom in Sheridan Knowles's The Hunchback at Drury Lane , but the speculative season, to which he owed this engagement, soon came to an end, and he returned to the provinces. In September 1855 he reappeared at the Strand as principal comedian.

âe~Clarke's first distinct success was won in burlesque, a line in which his reputation was established by his performance of Ikey the Jew in Leicester Buckingham's travesty Belphegor in September 1856. At Christmas 1857 he was engaged for the pantomime at Drury Lane, but he returned to

âe~On 10 August 1872 Clarke married Teresa Elizabeth Furtado (1845âe"1877), a well-known actress, and the daughter of a musician, Charles Furtado. After her death on 9 August 1877 he broke down: his last appearance on stage was in that year, at the Criterion, w he had performed in several new pieces in the preceding three years, and in the revival of John Oxenford's The Porter's Knot . He died on 20 February 1879, aged about fifty, at his home, 15 Torriano Avenue, Camden Town, London. Clarke was a competent actor, with a grating voice and a hard style. A prominent feature of his career was his successful representation of female characters. His burlesque dancing was marred by an accident to his leg experienced while riding on horseback.âe(tm)

Photographed by the London Stereoscopic and Photographic Company.

Condition: please see scans. The print shows one small dark mark near the left-hand edge and a paler mark near the opposite edge; it is otherwise in excellent condition, with very good tonal range. The mount is clean, firm and solid. A printed paper label verso identifies the London stockist w the carte was originally purchased.

Dimensions: The dimensions of a standard carte-de-visite are approx. 4.1âe by 2.5âe (105 mm by 63 mm).

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