# 17793

[BRAYTON, Lily, 1876-1953]; Photographer unknown

Signed photographic portrait of the actress Lily Brayton, wife of Australian actor Oscar Asche.

$50.00 AUD

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[London? : photographer unknown, circa 1905]. Hand coloured silver gelatin print, 135 x 83 mm, bearing Lily Brayton’s full signature in ink, captioned in the negative ‘Lily Brayton’ and ‘Sole copyright’ (photographer’s imprint not visible); laid down on an early twentieth century album page with the collector’s manuscript label mounted below, ‘Lily Brayton (Mrs. Oscar Asche), Actress’; a stunning signed portrait in fine condition.

Australian-born actor Oscar Asche had achieved his first success on the London stage in the 1890s; in June 1898 he married English Shakespearian actress Lily Brayton. By 1907 Mr. and Mrs. Asche had become co-managers of His Majesty’s Theatre, London. The couple made tours of Australia in 1909-10 and 1911-12. The signed portrait we offer here was probably obtained by an Australian collector on one of those Australian visits, although the photograph itself is likely to be from a few years earlier, as the actress seems to be in costume as Ophelia, the role she played in a famous 1905 London production of Hamlet. Oscar Asche is best remembered for his own 1916 play Chu Chin Chow, in which Lily starred alongside her husband in over 2,000 performances. This musical was immensely popular in England, the United States and Australia, where it toured in 1920. Asche made a final visit to Australia, under contract to the promoter J.C. Williamson, during 1922-24. Lily did not accompany him on this tour, but continued to act and produce plays through the 1930s. After Oscar’s death in 1936, Lily married again, but, having also outlived her second husband, her ashes were buried in the grave of her first husband near her former home in Bisham, Berkshire.