Duelling pistols for stage, belonging to Henry Irving

Theatre Collection

Irving pistols

These duelling pistols belonged to the celebrated nineteenth century actor-manager Sir Henry Irving. Irving used the pistols on-stage at the Lyceum, possibly as the character of Dr. Primrose in Olivia. Each pistol bears the inscription ‘Only an actor,’ signifying their function as stage props.

The pistols form part of the Irving Family archive which is held by the Theatre Collection. It contains material relating to four generations of the family: Henry, Henry Brodribb, Laurence and John (the donor of the archive). It includes diaries, letters, photographs, contracts and agreements which provide great insight into the life of this eminent figure of Victorian theatre and his descendents.

  • Photographer: Nick Riddle
  • Copyright: University of Bristol
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