Hartford Building and Loan Association: Hamlet

Various artists/makers

Not on view

This advertisement for a Connecticut loan society demonstrates how ubiquitous Hamlet’s image had become by the late 1890s. To promote business, the prince’s slim, black-clad form holding Yorick’s skull has been copied from an 1894 poster created in London by the Beggarstaffs (the design partnership of James Pryde and William Nicholson). The British original promotes a touring production starring Edward Gordon Craig. The prince’s identity may be unmistakable, but the colloquial phrase attributed to him here cannot be found in Shakespeare. Rather, “A man’s house is his castle” was published by Sir Edward Coke in "The Institutes of the Laws of England" (1682).

Hartford Building and Loan Association: Hamlet, Wilbur Macey Stone (American, 1862–1941), Lithograph

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