(LADY) & MISS
(Lady MacDonnell) Born Henriette MacDonnell (1851-1934), daughter of Ewen MacDonnell and Annie Charlotte, née Hill; m (1878) Sir Anthony Patrick MacDonnell 1844-1925, 1st & last Baron MacDonnell, of Swinford, County Mayo (cr. 1908).
(Miss MacDonnell) Only child (1888-1970) of 1st Baron and Lady MacDonnell.
Lady Henriette MacDonnell (1851-1934) was a Scotswoman. In 1878 she married Sir Antony Patrick MacDonnell (later Baron Macdonnell), an Irish civil servant, who worked for many years in India and became an expert in managing famines reccurring in that part of the Empire.
Summoned to the Drawing Room on 10 May 1898, Lady MacDonnell presented her daughter Miss Anne Margaret MacDonnell (1888-1970).
Seen here against the standard baronial studio scenery, Lady MacDonnell wears a court train of vieil or brocade that was reported to have been especially made for the occasion in Lhassa, Tibet. The train is lined with white satin, and edged with ruches and plisse chiffon. Her gown is of rich oyster satin and gold thread brocade and trimmed with old Brussels lace and delicate pearl embroidery. Lady MacDonnel wears a conventonial diamond star in her hair and a diamond necklace with a diamond cross.
Miss MacDonnell wears a dress of white satin draped with tulle, showered with rose petals, with a graduated flounce edged with a double ruche of tulle bordered with narrow ribbons and banksia roses. Her bodice of satin has a garniture of lilies of the valley and banksia roses. The train, attached to one shoulder, is of white brocade lined with glacé silk, trimmed with ruches, ornamented with ostrich plume, lilies and white heather.
During the First World War, Lady MacDonnell was the President of the Irish Women’s Association (providing aid to Irish regiments and prisoners of war). Miss MacDonnell died unmarried in 1970.
The negative is dated three days after the Drawing Room, which indicates that lady MacDonnell and her daughter must have avoided the dreadful crush of debutantes at the photographer’s studio by making an appointment a few days later for their joint portrait to memoralise the occasion.
Date: 13 May 1898.
Occasion: The Drawing Room, 10 May 1898: Miss MacDonnell presented by her mother, Lady MacDonnell.
Location: The Lafayette Studio, 179 New Bond Street, London, W.
Descr: FL standing.
Costume: Court dresses.
(Lady MacDonnell) "Court train of vieil or brocade (especially made for the occasion at Lhassa) lined with white satin, and edged with ruches and plisse chiffon. Dress of rich oyster satin and gold thread brocade, trimmed with old Brussels lace and handsome pearl embroidery";
(Miss MacDonnell) "Presentation dress of white satin draped with tulle, showered with rose petals, graduated flounce of same, headed with double ruche of tulle bordered with narrow ribbons and banksia roses. Bodice of satin with garniture of lilies of the valley, heather, and banksia roses. Train from one shoulder of white brocade lined with glacé silk, trimmed with ruches, ornamented with ostrich plume, lilies and white heather" (see: Lady's Pictorial, 21 May 1898, p 746 & 28 May 1898, p 789).
Costume Designer: -
Costume Supplier: -
Furniture & Props: Painted backdrop; studio Jacobean-revival mock staircase.
Photographer: Lafayette Ltd., 179 New Bond Street, London,W.
Evidence of photographer at work: -
No of poses: 1.
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Provenance: Pinewood Studios; acquired 1989.
Biog: (Baron MacDonnell) Dictionary of National Biography; Burke's Peerage;
Occasion: The Times, 11 May 1898, p 13d.
Costume: (Lady MacDonnell) Lady's Pictorial, 21 may 1898, p 746; (Miss MacDonnell) Lady's Pictorial, 28 May 1898, p 789.
Costume Designer: -
Costume Supplier: -
Reproduced: (version) The Ladies' Field, 28 May 1898, p 500; (version, cropped, Lady MacDonnell only) Lady's Pictorial, 21 May 1898, p 745; (version, cropped, Miss MacDonnell only) Lady's Pictorial, 21 May 1898, p 744.