Pre 1897 thumbnails

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Neg. No: (GP) (L) 1394
Neg. Size: 15"x12"
Neg. Date: 03-07-1897

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Sitters: (Constance) Gladys, Countess de Grey, later Marchioness of Ripon, née (Constance) Gladys Herbert (d 1917) and 'Nubian Attendant'.

(Constance) Gladys, Countess de Grey, later Marchioness of Ripon, née (Constance) Gladys Herbert (d 1917) and 'Nubian Attendant'.

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Biog: Society beauty and benefactor of Covent Garden; 3rd daughter of 1st Lord Herbert of Lea, statesman; m 1stly (1878) 4th Earl of Lonsdale; m 2ndly (1885) 2nd Marquis of Ripon.

Role: Cleopatra

Date: 3 July 1897 

Occasion: The Devonshire House Ball, 2 July 1897 

Location: Devonshire House, Piccadilly, London, W.


Descr: FL seated.(1)

Costume: "...attire of gold and silver tissue thickly encrusted with jewels... and her gorgeous train borne by a Nubian in real old Egyptian slave's attire." (Lady's Pictorial, 10 July 1897, p 53a).


Costume Supplier: Costume bought in Paris.(2)


Jewellery: Diamond ibis in hair; pearls twisted in hair and hanging in ropes down her back.


Accessories: (Lady De Grey) Papyrus sceptre [ck]. 

Furnishings and props: Backdrop, painted to suggest the garden statuary at Devonshire House; studio Persian rug.

Registered Photographer: James Stack Lauder (1853-1923) trading as 'J. Lafayette', 179 New Bond Street, London, W.

Evidence of photographer at work: Photographer's tent visible behind backdrop.

No of poses: 1 [negative 1394 identical].

  Copyright: V&A

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Provenance: Pinewood Studios; acquired 1989.


Biog: Burke's Peerage; The Times, 29 October 1917, p 10e & 1 November p 9e; Anita Leslie, Edwardians in Love, London, 1972.

Occasion: Sophia Murphy, The Duchess of Devonshire's Ball, London, 1984.

Role and Costume: (as Cleopatra) The Daily Graphic, 3 July 1897, p 12d; The Daily News, 3 July 1897, p 5g; The Daily Telegraph, 3 July 1897, p 9f; The New York World, 3 July 1897, p 7a; Le Temps, 4 July 1897, p [ck]c; Black & White, 10 July 1897, p 56a; The Gentlewoman, 10 July 1897, p 48b; Lady's Pictorial, 10 July 1897, p 53a; The Sketch, 14 July 1897, p 484b; (as Lysistrate) The Times, 3 July 1897, p 12a; Vanity Fair, 8 July 1897, p 27a; (in Oriental costume) The Queen, 10 July 1897, p 73c.


Costume Supplier: Vanity Fair, 8 July 1897, p 18b.


Jewellery: Lady's Pictorial, 10 July 1897, p 53a.


Photog: Copyright Records, Public Record Office, Kew, COPY 1/431, 11 August 1897 (1 pose registered); The Daily Telegraph, 3 July 1897, p 9f; Black & White, 10 July 1897, p 38b.


Reproduced: -

Acknowledgements: Department of Eastern Antiquities, British Museum.

1. For the pose, see the portrait called Elena Grimaldi, Marchesa Cattaneo, with a Negro Servant by Anthony Van Dyck, c 1623 (Cattaneo della Volta Collection c 1828-1906, National Gallery of Art Washington since 1942).

See Christopher Brown, Van Dyck, Oxford, 1982 & A.K.L. Wheelock & others, Van Dyck: Paintings, Washington, 1991, pp 174-176.


2. According to The New York World (3 July 1897, p 7a), the costume cost "not less than $5,000".