Pre 1897 thumbnails

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Neg. No: GP (L) 1411
Neg. Size: 15"x12"
Neg. Date: 07-07-1897

copyright V&A


Sitter: Lady Farquhar, later Viscountess Farquhar, née Emilie Packe (d 1922).

Biog: Youngest daughter of Lieutenant-Colonel Henry Packe; m (1865) Sir E.H. Scott, 5th Bt.; m (1895) 1st and last Earl and Farquhar.

Role: Duchesse de Mailly, Lady-in-Waiting to Queen Marie-Antoinette.(1)

Date: 7 July 1897.

Occasion: The Devonshire House Ball, 2 July 1897.

Location: The Lafayette studio, 179 New Bond Street, London, W.

Descr: FL seated.

Costume: "...white satin dress petticoat with sable and a blue velvet overdress and a fichu of point d'Argentin lace, fastened with diamonds." (The Daily Telegraph, 3 July 1897, p 10a).

Costume Designer: -

Costume Supplier: -

Jewellery & Accessories: -

Furniture & Props: Painted rococo-style backdrop; studio Louis XVI-style canapé.

Photographer: The firm of J. Lafayette, 179 New Bond Street, London, W.

Evidence of studio at work: Background partially masked.

No of poses: 1.

Copyright: V&A

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Provenance: Pinewood Studios; acquired 1989.


Biog: Burke's Peerage; The Times, 7 April 1922, p 7d.

Role: Devonshire House Fancy Dress Ball, July 2 1897: A Collection of Portraits in Costume of Some of the Guests, privately printed, 1899, p 40, (National Portrait Gallery Archives).

Occasion: Sophia Murphy, The Duchess of Devonshire's Ball, London, 1984; The Daily Telegraph, 3 July 1897, p 10a.

Costume: The Daily Telegraph, 3 July 1897, p 10a.

Costume Designer: -

Costume Supplier: -

Jewellery & Accessories: -

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 40, (National Portrait Gallery Archives).

1. Source: Grand dictionnaire universel du XIXe siècle, Paris

MAILLY (Louise-Julie de Nesles, comtesse de)

{TRANS} one of the many mistresses of Louix XV {1710-1774}, born in 1710, died in 1751. She was the oldest of four sisters, of which the other three {Comtesse de Vinti mille, Marquise de Lauraguais and marquise de La Tournelle} successively stole the king's heart. Her father, the Marquis de Mesles, had her marry Louis-Alexandre de Mailly in 1726; it was six years later, in 1732, that she was noticed by Louix XV. Her mother, Armande de La Porte-Mazarin, was famous for her outgoing life. ... Sweet and easy-going... the comtesse de Mailly was one of those rare favourites about whom one can say no evil... Louis XV, was tired of the piety of Marie Leczinska, who spent her nights in prayer... After some flirtations with Madamoiselles de Charolais, de Clermont, Madame de Rohan and others, he felt the need for a serious attachment and found this in Madame de Mailly, who, for her part, loved the king with a passion. He was twenty-two years old .. and as they were both timit, they needed the services of a go-between: Cardinal de Fleury, who was delighted to see the King take a mistress entirely foreign to politics. ...She was declared official mistress. Her husband sulked, was given 500,000 francs; her father raised objections and was exiled to her properties...

The favourite did not abuse her power. She dressed modestly... Her happiness lasted eight years (1732-1740). In that year her sister {later to be Comtesse de Vintimille}... came to court with the intention of supplanting her in the King's affections. While in the convent she had written to one of her friends, an abbess "I shall send letter upon letter to my sister; she is goodly; she will summon me to her; I will make the King fall for me, I shall chase {Cardinal de} Fleury away, I shall govern France." And this she did.... Madame de Mailly suffered greatly by being estranged from the King, but she had such a fear of being exiled from court that she humbled herself.... Louis XV payed Madame de Mailly's debts which were almost 800,000 pounds, gave her a residence in rue Saint-Thomas-du-Louvre and an income of 40,000 pounds. {She faded into obscurity}