£50,000 restoration of Victorian-Era dress made with 1,000 beetle wings

03/19/2011 @ Ecouterre

It took 1,300 hours and £50,000 ($81,000), but a glittering emerald gown made from 1,000 beetle parts is ready for its stage entrance once more. Decked with the sloughed-off wings of the jewel beetle, and worn by actress Ellen Terry in the role of Lady Macbeth at London’s Lyceum Theatre in 1888, the dress was one of the most celebrated costumes of the era. Although it’s immortalized in a John Singer Sargent portrait currently at the Tate, the dress has seen much wear, tear, and alterations in its 120 years, rising to the top of the National Trust’s conservation priority list.


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