A Large Mid 20thC White Rabbit Theatre Prop Head

Origin: English
Period: Mid 20thC
Provenance: Unknown
Date: c.1960
Height: 32.5”
Width: 12”
Depth: 18”

The large composition and papier-mâché theatre head modelled as the white rabbit, almost certainly from Alice in Wonderland, having red eyes and large ears, the meshed interior with wooden handles and the whole surviving from the mid twentieth century.

The head is in good overall order with some small flaked losses and some weakening to the ears, it is pliable but still very useable. The naturally play worn paint makes it very decorative.

Throughout the world masks are used for their expressive power as a feature of masked performance - both ritually and in various theatre traditions. A familiar and vivid element in many folk and traditional pageants, ceremonies, rituals and festivals, masks are often of an ancient origin. Masks are used almost universally and maintain their power and mystery both for their wearers and their audience.

The White Rabbit is a fictional and anthropomorphic character in Lewis Carroll's 1865 book Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. He appears at the very beginning of the book, in chapter one, wearing a waistcoat, and muttering "Oh dear! Oh dear! I shall be too late!" Alice follows him down the rabbit hole into Wonderland.

Menacing but also simultaneously somehow endearing, a wonderfully decorative but also useable item of which a lot of fun can be had with.