Pre 1897 thumbnails

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Neg. No: GP (L) 1449
Neg. Size: 15"x12"
Neg. Date: 07-07-1897

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Sitter: Richard George Penn Curzon-Howe, Viscount Curzon, later 4th Earl Howe (1861-1929).

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: -

No of related negatives: 2 (see also neg no 1448).

1374.jpg (80379 bytes) copyright V&A
Countess Howe Earl Howe and Lady Howe
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Earl Howe and Lady Howe Earl Howe  

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Provenance: Pinewood Studios; acquired 1989.


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.