Masquerade Ball History
The idea of a Masquerade Ball or Masked party goes back to late medieval court life, originally designed to celebrate a marriage or mark a point in a royal dynasty.
The guests would wear both a costume and their masquerade mask, and, as you can imagine, the anonymity this provided to a class that were governed by the strictest etiquette and constricting rules of behaviour was irresistible..
Masquerade balls grew into semi public events by the time of the Renaissance, enabling ( in theory..) the nobleman and the servant to interact, under the cloak of disguise - their popularity was very much about the freedom wearing a mask gave you..
The intricate and exquisite masquerade masks were set against the backdrop of the time, with all its stunning Renaissance architecture and art, just an incredibly creative time when Beauty was paramount in everything, and creativity and innovation was everywhere.
From the 17th Century they were popular throughout mainland Europe and reached London by the early 18th century, courtesy of the Swiss count John Heidegger, who brought the first one to the Haymarket Opera House.
Here's a clip of our Black Diavolo Mask sent over to us by Andrea and captures the mystery and history of Masquerade Masks beautifully..
For the rest of the 18th century these remained popular, spreading from England across to Colonial America, they also became more lighthearted, as guests tried to guess the identity of the person behind the masks
They then had a resurgence in the late 80's and 90's both across Europe and in the US, when both individuals and corporate organisations rediscovered how PERFECT a Masquerade Ball was to add an element of Glamour and Excitement to any Ball or Party. Hollywood have also fallen hard for the Masquerade Ball, featuring them in Batman Returns and Labryinth (below)
And Producers of Gossip Girl LOVE Masquerade Balls, showing several in the last few seasons!
And so through to today, where they remain a hugely popular choice with event organisers of corporate and charity events, and countless private parties around the world - we’re particularly excited about the burgeoning trend for Masquerade weddings and University Graduation Balls, and you’d be surprised how many 18th, 21st and beyond birthday parties we supply
So no matter how big or small your event is, as you walk in and see everyone in their masquerade masks, just remember you’re all keeping alive a tradition that goes back centuries, and long may it continue..