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Neg. No: GP (L) 1367A
Neg. Size: 15"x12"
Neg. Date: 03-07-1897

copyright V&A

Sitter: Lady Sarah (Isabella Augusta) Wilson (1865-1929), née Spencer-Churchill.

Biog: Boer War correspondent, author and traveller; 6th daughter of 7th Duke of Marlborough; m. (1891) Lt-Col Gordon Chesney Wilson (killed in action 1914).

Role: Madame de Pompadour.(1)

Date: 3 July 1897.

Occasion: The Devonshire House Ball, 2 July 1897.

Location: Devonshire House, Piccadilly, London, W.

Descr: TQL standing.

Costume: "...a Pompadour costume of rich china-blue satin, the quaint bodice with deep point in front, fastened with old fashioned bows of vieux-rose silk, graduating in size to the waist; the tight satin sleeves had deep frills of silk, pinked at the edged at the elbow with an inner frilll of lace; the dress was trimmed with white blonde lace and pink Banksia roses; the skirt was of blue satin, with very full paniers, and flounced with two frills, edged with blonde lace and pink button roses" (Queen, 10 July 1897, p 76b)(2)

Costume Supplier: Mrs Mason, 4 New Burlington Street, London, W.

Furniture & Props: Backdrop, painted to suggest the garden statuary at Devonshire House.

Photographer: The firm of J. Lafayette, 179 New Bond Street, London, W.

Evidence of photographer at work: 'Baronial fireplace backdrop' visible to left of plate, behind main backdrop.

No of poses: 2 [ see also neg no 1366].

Copyright: V&A

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Provenance: Pinewood Studios; acquired 1989.


Biog: Burke's Peerage; The Times, 23 October 1929, p 14& 25 October 1929, p 9.

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

Role and Costume: The Court Circular, 10 July 1897, p 625a; The Court Journal, 10 July 1897, p 1247;

The Gentlewoman, 10 July 1897, p 56b & p 55 (line drawing); Lady's Pictorial, 10 July 1897, p 42 (line drawing); 

The Queen, 10 July 1897, p 76b & p 78 (line drawing).

Costume Supplier: The Queen, 10 July 1897, p 78.

Photography: The Daily Telegraph, 3 July 1897, p 9f; Black & White, 10 July 1897, p 38b.

Reproduced: (Version) Madame, 17 July 1897, p 127; (version with Arnold Morley M.P.) The Sketch, 14 July 1897, p 488.

Acknowledgements: -

1. Madame de Pompadour, née Jeanne Antoinette Poisson (1721-1764); m. (1741) Ch.-G.-B. Le Normant d'Etioles; cr. 1745 marquise de Pompadour and maîtresse en titre to King Louis XV of France.

2. Costume reported as a copy of '...a picture of La Pompadour which belongs to one of the Rothschilds...' (Vanity Fair, 8 July 1897, p 27b). See the portrait called La Marquise de Pompadour by François Boucher (1756); Collection of Alice de Rothschild, London 1887, and thence to Baron Nathaniel de Rothschild, Vienna, Baron Alphonse de Rothschild, Vienna, Wilderstein & Co. New York, now in Alte Pinakothek, Munich [Alistair Lang, François Boucher 1703-1779, New York, 1986, p 267-271, exhibition catalogue]; see also copy signed by Boucher, 1758, Collection of Baron Adolphe de Rothschild, Paris 1868, thence to Maurice de Rothschild, Paris, now in the collection of Baron Edmond de Rothschild, Château de Pregny, Switzerland [Pierre de Nolhac, Boucher: Premier Peintre du Roi, Paris, 1925, pp 120-122].