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Neg. No: (GP) (L) 1394B
Neg. Size: 15"x12"
Neg. Date: 03-07-1893

copyright V&A

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

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 standing.(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".