Pre 1897 thumbnails

click here for the  Devonshire House Ball thumbnail page

Neg. No: (GP) (L) 1435-395
Neg. Size: 15"x12"[ck]
Neg. Date: 9-7-1897

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Sitter: Edith Amelia, Baroness Wolverton, née Ward (1872-1956).

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Image displayed in:


Biog: C.B.E. cr. 1918; eldest daughter of 1st Earl of Dudley; m. (1895) 4th Baron Wolverton.

Role: Britannia.

Date: 9 July 1897.

Occasion: The Devonshire House Ball, 2 July 1897.

Location: The Lafayette Studio, 179 New Bond Street, London.

Descr: FL standing.


Costume: Trident; plumed helmet with raised laurel wreath design; necklet with Royal Coat of Arms centre; cuirass of silver disks; sash with Garter motto "Honi soit qui mal y pense"; double layered skirt, embroidered with the thistle of Scotland and the rose of England; cloak and shield displaying the Union Jack.
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Costume Supplier: -

Furniture & Props: Painted sea-scape backdrop.

Photographer: Lafayette, 179 New Bond Street, London.

Evidence of photographer at work: Studio assistant holding backdrop and floor-cloth, visible to left of plate.

No of poses: 5. copyright V&A


Portrait by Lafayette published in Country Life Illustrated, 26 March 1989

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Provenance: Pinewood Studios; acquired 1989.


Biog: Burke's Peerage; The Times, 7 June 1956, p 15g [get].

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

Costume & Role: (Role only) The Daily Graphic, 3 July 1897, p 12c; The Morning Post, 3 July 1897, p 7d; (Costume) The Queen, 10 July 1897, p 138c.

Costume Supplier: -

Reproduced: (Version from resit, 26 November 1897) The Lady's Field, 21 May 1898, p 445; Devonshire House Fancy Dress Ball, July 2 1897: A Collection of Portraits in Costume of Some of the Guests, privately printed, 1899, p 44, (National Portrait Gallery Archives).

Acknowledgements: -


The use of the symbol of Britannia has its origin in the Roman goddess Minerva. She came to symbolise security as well as dominion over the sea. A popular image on coinage, until recently she had appeared with the lighthouse and three-masted ship - emanations of her two characteristics. When these were removed from the coin in 1895, people commented that it presaged the demise of the navy. The Candid Friend, 25 May 1901