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Neg. No: (GP) 5131
Neg. Size: 12"x15"
Neg. Date:23-07-1904

copyright V&A

Sitter:(Constance) Gladys, Marchioness of Ripon (d. 1917) when Countess de Grey.

(Constance) Gladys, Marchioness of Ripon (d. 1917) when Countess de Grey.

Image published in:
Samochody Wytwornego Towarzystwa – Miodowe Lata Automobili 1902-1905
Automobiles of English High Society – The Honeymoon Years 1902-1905

3512.jpg (75381 bytes)

Gladys, Countess de Grey (d. 1917) and Frederick Oliver Robinson, Earl de Grey (1852-1923), later 2nd Marquis of Ripon photographed with the Napier motor cars in the grounds of their residence, Coombe Court in Surrey.

Dressed elegantly in a superb white morning gown, Lady de Grey, photographed in July 1904, stands by one of the couple’s early Napier vehicles, looking as if she is about to be driven to one of her numerous engagement in London. Already, by May 1902, The Car Illustrated reported on her attitude to automobiles that she “was one of the firstamong great ladies to welcome the innovation, [and who] drove up every evening last summer during the opera season to Covent Garden.”

Her association with the Covent Garden opera house has set her contribution firmlywithin the history of opera in Britain as she played a large part in the rejuvenation of the operatic scene in London and counted among her friends the Australian diva Dame Nellie Melba, the Russian impresario Sergey Pavlovich Diaghilev and ballet dancer Vaslav Nijinsky, as well as the Polish opera-singing de Reszke brothers. As one of the few women who “dazzled every London drawing-room” with her wit, good looks and energy, Lady de Grey was the embodiment of the perfect Edwardian enchantress.

The couple were both fond of the new technologies. She had a telephone installed in her residence, and he sold off his horses in order to purchase automobiles. Apart from being a person of great wealth, Lord de Grey was the best shot in England and had held the honorary position of treasurer in the house-hold of Queen Alexandra.


Biog: -

Date: July 1904

Occasion: -

Location: Possibly Coombe Court, Kingston Hill, Surrey.

Descr: Full length, exterior, with Napier Paris.

Costume: -

Photographer: Lafayette Ltd., 179 New Bond Street, London, W.

No of poses: 1.

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.

Occasion: -

Location: Charles Neelson Gattey.

Costume: -

Motor Car: (Napier) see below.

Reproduced: -

Acknowledgements: Clive Devereaux; Charles Neelson Gattey.