Charles Kemble's gloves

Charles Kemble's gloves

Charles Kemble was the manager of Covent Garden from 1817, taking over from his older brother, John Philip Kemble. Interest in achieving historically accurate staging had grown under David Garrick and John Philip Kemble. An important milestone in this process was King John of 1823, produced by Charles Kemble and designed by J R Planché which influenced the future elaborate 'historical' productions of Charles Kean and Henry Irving. From the fine condition of these gloves, it would seem that they were carried rather than worn by Charles Kemble in Othello. They are very elaborate in the tradition of Elizabethan gloves, which were often gorgeously embroidered and intended as decorative gifts rather than practical clothing. On each is embroidered a winged lion, the symbol of St Mark, the patron saint of Venice where the action of Othello opens.