Sitter: Baroness Adrienne Elisabet Maria Jacquette de Geer (1879-1973), only child of Baron Anthony Gustaaf Egbert de Geer of Zeist (1851-1878) and Anna Emilia Charlotte Moewis (b. 1850); married (1909) Lt. Col. Peter Francis Fitzgerald D.S.O. of the King’s Shropshire Light Infantry (1879-1968).
The 19-year old Baroness Adrienne Elisabet Maria Jacquette de Geer was presented at the Court on 25 February 1898 by her mother who moved to England upon marrying as her 2nd husband a famous English barrister and cricketer Mervyn de Montmorency. By this time in Queen Victoria’s long reign, the press was already claiming that there was a rush of young women wishing to be presented at the Court of the frail and aged queen, sooner rather than later, in order to date their presentation from the reign of Queen Victoria.
In her exquisite white gown, Baroness de Geer appears as a chaste angelic figure, as she tentatively steps down towards the viewer from a slightly elevated platform. The Baroness is photographed against a whole panoply of a fashionable late-Victorian photographic paraphernalia. These studio props include a balustrade, pillars with trailing ribbon designs, an English park backdrop and, to the right, the favourite plant of the Victorians – an aspidistra.
Termed in the press an “ideal presentation toilette”, Baroness de Geer’s gown was of rich white satin, the corsage and petticoat embroidered with Louis 16th-style bows outlined in diamonds and pearls, the short sleeves trimmed with soft chiffon ruchings. Her train of white brocade woven with a cloud design was draped from one shoulder, and trimmed with white accordion-pleated tulle and lilies of the valley.
In 1909, Baroness de Geer married Lt. Col. Peter Francis Fitzgerald of the King’s Shropshire Light Infantry and became Mrs Peter Francis Fitzgerald.
Date: 25 February 1898.
Occasion: The Court, 25 February 1898: presented by her mother, Mrs Mervyn de Montmorency.
Location: The Lafayette studio, 179 New Bond Street, London, W.
Descr: FL standing.
Costume: Court dress: "Presentation gown of rich white satin, the corsage and petticoat embroidered in pearls and brilliants, and trimmed with soft chiffon ruchings. Train of brocade of graceful design arranged from one shoulder, and trimmed with white accordion-pleated tulle and lilies of the valley" (see: Lady's Pictorial, 5 March 1898, p 312c).
Costume Designer & Supplier: Messrs. Russell and Allen, Old Bond Street, London, W.
Furniture & Props: Painted backdrop; painted column; studio Persian rug.
Photographer: Lafayette Ltd., 179 New Bond Street, London, W.
Evidence of photographer at work: Right edge of backdrop visible.
No of poses: 2 (see also neg no 2059).
images on this site are copyright V&A. For further information
on using or requesting copies of any images
Provenance: Pinewood Studios; acquired 1989.
Occasion: The Times, 26 February 1898, p 14b.
Costume: The Court Circular, 2 March 1898, p 198a; The Gentlewoman, 5 March 1898, p 306a; Lady's Pictorial, 5 March 1898, pp 307 (line drawing) & 312c.
Costume Designer: Lady's Pictorial, 5 March 1898, p 312c.
Costume Supplier: The Court Circular, 2 March 1898, p 198a; Lady's Pictorial, 5 March 1898, p 312c.
Jewellery: The Court Circular, 2 March 1898, p 198a.
Reproduced: Madame, 12 March 1898, p 575.
Additional Information: -