In Search Of...The Vestris Hams
Londonist 14th November 2016 by Stephen Coates
The Garrick Club in Covent Garden, with its seven year waiting list, has always been one of London's more exclusive old-style London clubs — it once turned down Jeremy Paxman as a prospective member. But, with an average member age of 70 and, resistance to female members, its appeal may be limited.
It was founded by theatre lovers and actors in the 19th century and remains thespian in character. On the top floor there's an amazing archive and an unparalleled collection of theatrical books, ephemera and portraits. It was there that we first learnt from Marcus Risdell, the previous archivist, about 'The Vestris Hams'. If you are a treasure hunter or keep a list of lost arcane London ephemera, you may want to add these to it.
Eliza Vestris was a talented actress, singer and dancer, who was regarded as one of the most beautiful English women, and at times (when on stage) men, of her day. As one reviewer said: