Standard pirate costumes are so 18th-century! Try something different, like a monster pirate. Or better yet, an historical monster pirate like Davy Jones. Disney's recent Pirates of the Caribbean films may have portrayed him as a slimy monster of the deep, but George Cruikshank's old school Davy Jones from 1837 is far more fiendish. You'll need a standard pirate costume but with some horns on your head, a pointed tail if you can manage it, and some gnarly teeth. The ability to shoot a beam of fire from behind your eyepatch might impress your friends but think of all the candy you'd melt.
|George Cruikshank, "Jack Outwitting Davy Jones." Etching from the serial Nights At Sea in Bentley's Miscellany, 1837-8. The Rosenbach, 1954.1880.3581.|
|Color woodcut frontispiece to Dracole Waida (Nuremberg: Peter Wagner, ca. 1488). The Rosenbach, Incun488d|
|Edward Wheeler, "Old Avalanche, or The Great Annihilator; or Wild Edna, The Girl Brigand." In The Deadwood Dick Library Vol. 1 No.8 (March 15, 1899). The Rosenbach, DN57.|
Or for a group costume you could try this neckless trio, drawn by a very young Charles Dodgson (aka. the future Lewis Carroll) in a kind of homemade magazine to amuse his family. You can see this in our current exhibition Wonderland Rules: Alice @ 150.
|Charles Lutwidge Dodgson. Manuscript picture book. [184-] The Rosenbach, EL3 .D645 MS2.|
If you want a costume that's really out there, you could shoot for an homage to William Blake's Great Red Dragon in The Number of the Beast is 666. Blake's patron Thomas Butts commissioned him to do a series of Biblical watercolors, and this one is based on the New Testament's Revelation 13: "And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy." I see a lot of red cellophane in your future if you attempt to make those wings...
|William Blake, The Number of the Beast is 666. Watercolor. Ca. 1805. The Rosenbach, 1954.0011.|
|Christina Doe raising the art of webbing to new heights.|
Patrick Rodgers is a curator and cryptkeeper at the Rosenbach.