The Arthur Conan Doyle Collection Lancelyn Green Bequest

Sherlock and Watson in masks

With our black silk face-coverings, which turned us into two of the most truculent figures in London, we stole up to the silent, gloomy house?

View more images from the collection.

All pictures copyright ACD/RLG Collection

To Catch a Thief

In Arthur Conan Doyle?s story Charles Augustus Milverton,
Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson, equipped with a ?first-class,
up-to-date burgling kit?, are doing a spot of house-breaking.
They are looking for documents which will incriminate the
building?s owner, the blackmailer Charles Augustus Milverton.
The pair are in disguise, wearing silken masks specially
made by Watson for the occasion.

For better or worse, masks transform people ? as the
students of Harbour School?s Key Stage 3 Group
discovered while creating their own fanciful masks and
costumes. Like those of Holmes and Watson, their
disguises are designed to entrap criminals.

Each disguise comes with a different story.



What's new?

Watch a message from Stephen Fry

Treasures of the Collection

Sign up for email updates

Download newsletter

Please answer our short survey

(You could win a copy of Study In Scarlet featuring an introduction by Steven Moffat!)

Mummy disguise Scientist disguise

A thousand-year-old mummy, swathed in bandages (with
stitches in his head and one red eye) is hoping to catch a
tomb robber.

A nuclear scientist, who has ?a heavy Russian accent?,
wants to stop a gang who are trafficking atomic weapons.

show girl disguise Curly haired dancer

A glamorous Las Vegas showgirl is intent on catching a
casino embezzler,

Curly-haired dancer in a pink feather boa is trying to discover
the killer of her fellow-dancer, Lucy.

Long haired disguise

A long-haired girl with a ?cute stutter? is after yet
another murderer.

Hats and disguises in Sherlock Holmes

From The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

In The Adventures of the Blue Carbuncle a very seedy
and disreputable hard felt hat, much the worse for wear
and cracked in several places? provides the vital clue to
the solving of the mystery.

In The Man with the Twisted Lip a man discovers that he
can earn a better living as a matchseller than as a
business man. His disguise is described in detail:

'His appearance, you see, is so remarkable /that no one
can pass him without observing him. A shock of orange
hair, a pale face disfigured by a horrible scar, which, by
its contraction, has turned up the outer edge of his upper
lip, a bulldog chin, and a pair of very penetrating dark
eyes, which present a contrast to the colour of his hair?'

Holmes also appears in disguise in this story as an
elderly man in an opium den.

In A Case of Identity, a man weds an older woman for her
money. If her daughter marries, he will lose some of this
money. So he disguises himself as the daughter?s suitor
to delay any prospect of marriage.

From His Last Bow

In The Dying Detective? Holmes pretends to be terminally
ill (and fools Watson) so that he can trap the villainous
Culverton Smith.

From The Return of Sherlock Holmes

In ?Charles Augustus Milverton?, Holmes disguises himself
as a plumber, and becomes engaged to a housemaid,
during his investigations

From The Hound of the Baskervilles

In Chapter 14 the hound is described as it appears
terrifyingly on the moor. The dead animal is examined
shortly afterwards, and found to be painted with

To see more imagesand find out more about the collection,

Find out more about SirArthur Conan Doyle

Find out more about Sherlock Holmes

Sharing Sherlock Exhibitions

HLF logo