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  • Description

    Balham, South London.

    C/U of a chair with various brightly coloured Chinese silk robes on it; panning left to show a man getting up from beside the clothes and putting on a yellow and blue silk skirt; tilt down slightly to show his feet in Chinese slippers standing on a little mat on the carpet. Commentator tells us these are 18th Century dragon robes seen in the South London home of Col Ling Soo.

    M/S of Col Ling Soo putting on a sable-lined red Empress robe from his collection and doing up the buttons; C/U as he fastens the belt around his waist; a fabric holder for silver-tipped chopsticks hangs from the belt. C/Us as he folds a finely embroidered flat purse featuring animals over the belt.

    M/S as Col Ling Soo turns to a table, puts on a Chinese hat with peacock plume and some beads. He sits down and starts to fan himself. C/U of his face, tilt down to show in detail the intricate and colourful embroidery of his robe. Commentator tells us Col Ling Soo, or 'Happy Spirit', is not really Chinese; he is better known as Herbert Collings, President and founder of the Magic Circle, but also a keen student of Chinese art. He uses these robes in his performances of oriental magic.

    M/S as Col Ling Soo takes another robe from the chair and shows it to a woman on his right, who is also dressed in a Chinese robe. C/Us as they examine an embroidered dragon on the red silk robe, and an embroidered panel on another robe, featuring a stag and heron.

    Note: on file is a leaflet about Herbert J Collings' stage act, 'Costumes and Customs of Old China'; a little cigarette card-type photo of Col Ling Soo (in full costume); and amusing cameraman's notes (by 'Too-Long-Till'!).

  • Tags

  • Data

    British Pathé
    Issue Date:
    Media URN:
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Film ID:
    Time in/Out:
    01:20:04:00 / 01:22:16:00
    CP 055
    Sort Number:
    CP 055
  • Appears in...

    Sport & Leisure Fashion & Music Entertainment & Humour Lifestyle & Culture
    Magicians of the past Herbert Collings china possibilities Unworn Clothes
  • Stills

    0:01 0:02 0:03 0:04

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