Sitter: Richard George Penn Curzon-Howe, Viscount Curzon, later 4th Earl Howe (1861-1929).
Biog: Conservative MP, 1885-1900; Treasurer of the Household, 1896-1900; Lord Chamberlain to Queen Alexandra, 1903-1925.
Role: Admiral Earl Howe (1726-1799), after Gainsborough.
Date: 7 July 1897.
Occasion: The Devonshire House Ball, 2 July 1897.
Location: The Lafayette Studio, 179 New Bond Street, London.
Descr: FL standing.(1)
Costume: Costume based on the undress uniform of a mid-18th century British naval commodore, after portrait of Richard, 1st Earl Howe by Thomas Gainsborough, c. 1764.
Accessories: Sword presented to Admiral, First Earl Howe by George III as a victory trophy on 26 June 1794 to commemorate the British naval victory - 'The Glorious First of June 1794', hilt in blue enamel and gold, inset with diamonds; chain probably representing chain given by George III on 26 June 1794 to 1st Earl Howe and other senior naval officers; insignia of the Order of the Garter, (the Garter awarded to 1st Earl Howe in 1797).
Furniture & Props:Rococco style painted backdrop; studio Persian rug.
Photographer: The firm of J. Lafayette, 179 New Bond Street, London, W.
Evidence of studio at work: Right edge of backdrop visible.
No of related negatives: 2 (see also neg no 1449).
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Biog: Burke's Peerage; The Complete Peerage; The Times, 11 January 1929, p 11d.
Occasion: Sophia Murphy, The Duchess of Devonshire's Ball, London, 1984.
Role and costume: The Daily Telegraph, 3 July 1897, p 10a; Truth, 8 July 1897, p 108b; Anne French ed, The Earl and Countess Howe by Gainsborough: A Bicentenary Exhibition, London, 1988.
Accessories: Anne French, op cit, p 10 & p 90; Dictionary of National Biography (entry - Howe, Richard, Earl Howe); Diana Scarisbrick, Ancestral Jewels, London, 1989, pp 172-173.
Reproduced: (Version) Devonshire House Fancy Dress Ball, July 2 1897: A Collection of Portraits in Costume of Some of the Guests, privately printed, 1899, p 171 (National Portrait Gallery Archives)
1. The version published is much closer to the Gainsborough portrait, both in pose and background.