Of course, Paddington isn't the first of the many iconic childhood characters invented in London to make a mark at the museum.
Peter Pan, the boy who never grew up, found fame in a play by J.M. Barrie, first performed at the Duke of York's Theatre on 27 December 1904. The play was hugely popular, remaining as a major part of the London Christmas season for years to come. The actor Pauline Chase played the role of Peter Pan at the Duke of York's theatre annually from 1906 until 1913. Traditionally the role of Peter Pan was always played by female actors.
Note the net wings attached to the russet sleeves of this costume, which match Barrie's description of Peter Pan as being dressed in "autumn leaves and cobwebs". The costume comes with a wooden theatrical dagger with a silver painted blade and crudely carved handle, ideal for duelling pirates.
The play was so successful that Barrie adapted it into a novel, and Peter Pan has become an enduring figure in children's fiction. He's an iconic character caught between two worlds, the everyday London of Kensington Gardens and the dramatic fantasy of Neverland, complete with mermaids, Indians and Lost Boys to play with and battle.