June 19th, 2020

A shrimper, a cook and an astronomer (1889)

British, Russian and Japanese Legations in Peking's Legation Quarter. Image: Getty.

Here is what the foreign society wore at a costume ball in March 1889:
"The Calico Ball given by the Bachelors of Peking took place on 5th March in the Theatre of the British Legation. Great preparations in decoration, sumptuous supper, buffets, etc., had been made and everything passed off with unbounded success. The costumes of all were excellent and indicated the great taste displayed [...] The following are some of the most prominent costumes:
The Princess Lobanoff, Mrs. Hillier and Mr. Pitzcipios – Folly;
Mad. Coumany – Carmen;
Mrs. Bushell – a court lady of the last century;
Mrs. Jordan – a Connemara peasant;
Miss Dudgeon – a Greek;
Miss Nellie Dudgeon – Grace Darling;
Mrs. Dudgeon – an Alsatian peasant;
Mrs. Morehouse – in three excellent characters: grandmother, huntress and America (the last was particularly striking);
Miss Hole – the Union Jack;
Mrs. Vapereau – a French peasant bride;
Messrs. Piry and Oliver – French peasant bridegrooms;
Mad. Lemaire – a shrimper;
Mad. Lefevre – an Italian peasant:
Mad. Piry, an Italian musician;
Mrs. Cartwright – Portia;
Mrs. Edkins – a Bulgarian;
Mrs. Brereton – Summer;
Miss Skelton – a Hospital Nurse;
Mr. Howard – George III;
Mr. Jordan – Sir W. Raleigh;
Dr. Bushell – a Bedouin;
Mr. Walsham – a sailor,
Mr. Ker – ditto;
Mr. Percy WaIsham – a cook;
Mr. de Luca – ditto;
Mr. Morehouse – a pirate;
Mr. Cartwright and Mr. Charles Denby, Junr. – Clowns;
Mr. Vapereau – a French peasant;
Mr. von Kehrberg – a Circassian;
Mr. Vahovitch, day and night (this is the Russian consul in Hankow; he died in 1902);
Mr. Aglen – a negatlve;
Messrs. Oliver and Bastide – Astronomers;
Sir Robert Hart – King of Clubs, a most magnificent costume, etc., etc.
I forgot to mention that Mrs. Morehouse had some time ago some excellent tableaux vivants for the foreign children of Peking, in which the children took part. The amusement was a grand success."

North-China Herald, March 1889.

Image: Getty.