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14 March 2011

Above is a picture of the dress decorated with 1,000 real beetle wings worn by Ellen Terry at the Lyceum Theatre when she acted Lady MacBeth. She looks amazing in this picture by John Singer Sargent, so in real life she must have looked even more sensational as she moved and the iridescent wings shimmered in the footlights.

Carroll was of course a huge fan and never missed an Ellen Terry performance if he could help it. He would have seen this emerald and sea-green gown on stage - the beetle wings, by the way, were shed naturally.

The National Trust has put in 1,300 hours of conservation and the dress will now go on show at Smallhythe Place in Kent, Terry's home, which is cared for by the National Trust.

03 March 2011
What a brilliant piece of set design at the Royal Opera House.