II-60011.1 | A. G. Lord in skating party costume, posed for a composite, Montreal, QC, 1881

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A. G. Lord in skating party costume, posed for a composite, Montreal, QC, 1881
Notman & Sandham
1881, 19th century
Silver salts on paper mounted on paper - Albumen process
17.8 x 12.7 cm
Purchase from Associated Screen News Ltd.
© McCord Museum
Keywords:  male (26812) , Photograph (77678) , portrait (53878)
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Keys to History

Occasionally men wore comical costumes to skating carnivals, though not usually to balls. Mr. A. G. Lord portrayed "A Harlequin" at the skating carnival held in Montreal March 5, 1881, and was given a prominent place in the composite of that event. The appeal of such characters is easily understood: "The harlequin is a privileged character and plays his tricks and pranks indiscriminately upon the guests," a manual stated.

Another popular type of comical costume was a bottle of champagne or bitters, as can be seen in the lower right corner of the same composite. Giant heads, a string bass and a giant teacup were noted at other skating carnivals. Sometimes a name on a guest list indicates a comical costume. For instance, a Mr. Hopkins attended the carnival as "That Thing on Ice." Most people in such costumes were not photographed.

Masquerade and Carnival: Their Customs and Costumes (New York: Butterick, 1892), p. 110.

  • What

    Mr. Lord's harlequin costume appears to be quite elaborate in its construction and was evidently the result of some effort or expense.

  • Where

    Mr. Lord can be found in the composite, centred on the ice grotto.

  • When

    Mr. Lord was photographed following the carnival in 1881.

  • Who

    Mr. Lord's pose on skates is more dynamic than many others; he struck a similar pose in photographs he had taken in 1867.