Mummers Costume: Jacket, Trousers and Hat
Artist/maker unknown, English
In the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, British mummers dressed in fantastic modes to perform plays and dances at annual festivals, especially around Christmas. The antic revelry and gentle mischief making of the clowns, or Toms, encouraged donations from amused spectators and gave working-class men the chance to act out. This mummers costume is covered with playful appliqués including devils carrying pitchforks and, on the back of the hat, the date and initials TF—probably signifying Tom Fool.