The Duchess of
Devonshire's Ball 1897
Photography - visit this site -
The following is a
detailed account of some of the principal costumes:
The Prince of Wales, as Grand Master
of the Knights Hospitalier of Malta. (Elizabethan
period.) Pourpoint of black Epingle velvet, richly
embroidered steel and black jet tiny beads with
passementerie of jet. Trunks formed of bands of black
Epingle velvet embroidered steel over full bouillonne
of steel gray silk. Mantle of black Sicilian silk
with white Cross of Malta. Hauts de chausse, black
silk sword belt of black velvet with steel mountings.
Sword, black scabbard, steel belt with Cross of Malta
in white enamel. High turreted top boots. Crispin
gloves, hat and feathers with diamond Cross of Malta.
Order, Riband of Order of Malta with jewelled Cross
of Malta. Order of the Garter with pale blue riband
round neck. Ruff.
The Duke of Connaught, as a Military
Commander. (Elizabethan period.) Doublet of gray
velvet, with slashed sleeves of same, the puffs of
gray silk, beaded with steel cut beads. Trunks of
gray velvet, with slashing of gray silk embroidered
gold and studded with cabochons and steel. Mantle of
gray velvet, with embroidered gold bands. Cuirasse of
steel damascened with gorget and ruff attached. Trunk
hose gray silk. High boots of gray leather turned
back. Toque of black velvet, with gray puffs and gray
feathers. Orders, Riband and Badge of the Garter.
Crispin gloves of gray leather. Sword belt, gray
velvet with steel mountings. Sword, black velvet
scabbard, steel hilt and blade.
Prince Charles of Denmark - Gentleman
of the Court of Denmark.
The Hereditary Prince of Saxe-Coburg
and Gotha as Duc Robert of Normandy, in coat of mail
Prince Christian as Earl of Lincoln
(Elizabethan period). Black velvet costume lined with
ermine; fawn satin tunic and trunks, the latter, as
well as the sleeves, slashed with white satin. Black
velvet cap, with white feathers fastened in with a
Princess Victoria of
Schleswig-Holstein, as a Princess, Elizabethan
period. Dress made of old turquoise and gold brocade.
The front and all round skirt richly embroidered
gold, bands of white satin pearled. The sleeves of
blue brocade with creves of white crepe pearled and
studded gold. Cherusque old lace, embroidered gold.
Small pearl crown headdress. Ecran. Pearl necklace.
The Grand Duke Michael of Russia in a
Henry IV. costume in black and gold, puffed with
white satin and gold embroidered straps..The cape
lined with white and trimmed with gold cord and
tassels. .White ruff. Black hat ornamented with gold
braid; and blue silkband with Order.
The Duke of Teck as Capitaine de la
Garde du Roi (1660). White cloth tunic, with blue
revers trimmed with silver. White waistcoat to
correspond. Cloth breeches, high boots, and powdered
The Duchess of Teck as Princess
Sophia, wife of the Elector of Luneburg and Hanover.
Orange-coloured velours miroir, the full skirt
attached with two rows of large pearls holding the
folds onto the bodice. The skirt trimmed with ermine,
the decollete bodice having large revers of ermine
and a collarette of diamonds and pearls, from which
hung on one side a lace cape attached to the hair.
The costume was copied from a miniature at Hampton
Prince Alexander of Teck as a Dragoon
Guard of the Blenheim period, carried out in blue.
Prince Francis of Teck, the same in
Princess Victor of
Hohenlohe-Lungenburg, in Louis Quinze costume.
Countess Helena Gleichen as Joan of
Arc, in a suit of armour.
Princess Henry of Pless as the Queen
of Sheba. A costume of gold and purple gauze, the
short-waisted bodice encrusted with immense
turquoises set round with diamonds and other precious
stones; the skirt and draperies of gold gauze
embroidered to correspond, and the long gold girdle
encrusted and fringed with jewels. Bird of paradise
and crown. Four servants held her train.
The Duchess of Connaught, as Ann of
Austria. Robe of old cisele velvet, havana colour,
the turnback of skirt of rose colour silk velvet
embroidered silver. Panel of havana colour silk
velvet embroidered silver. Front of dress of white
satin with embroidery of gold fleur-de-lys and
beautiful bordered collar and cuffs of old guipare
lace with seme of pearls. Very simple headdress.
Bandeau, pearl and gold and plume Ecran of feathers
in hand. Handsome jewelled necklace and earrings.
The Duke of York, as George Clifford,
Earl of Cumberland. Pourpoint and sleeves of Genoa
velvet cisele, with small basques, embroidered gold
all over with bands of embroidery in front of
pourpoint and side seams of sleeves certis of jewels.
Trunks of bands of crimson velvet embroidered gold
covering bouillonne of gray satin. Gorget of steel
damasquine gold with ruff round. High felt hat, with
brim turned up and three gray feathers, cordeliere
glove fixed in front of hat, which this commander
always wore and which was given him by Queen
Elizabeth. Hauts de chausse gray silk. High boots
gray suede. Crispin gloves. Mantle of Genoa velvet
cisele, embroidered with band all round, embroidered
and studded with jewels. Sword belt of gray velvet
with gold mounts. Gold hilted sword, gray velvet
scabbard. Riband of the Garter round neck with Order.
The Duchess of York as Marguerite de
Valois. Pale blue satin, embroidered all over in
pearls and silver, with seven large diamond stars
down the front of the skirt; the satin bodice
embroidered in bows and knots in diamonds on the
stomacher, and the top ornamented with large pendant
pearls. Medici collar of old lace embroidered with
silver; sleeves to match, and deep cuffs encrusted
with pearls and diamonds; and round the waist a
silver fringe studded with diamonds.
The Duke of Devonshire, as Charles V
of Germany, after the picture by Titian. Surcoat
black velvet lined satin, sleeves puffed large at
shoulders. The surcoat turned back in front with
black fur and ending in fur cape scolloped, black
beaded embroidered pattern on end of surcoat. Doublet
black Genoa velvet embroidered tiny jet clack beads,
slightly open on chest, showing white shirt. Black
silk trunks slashed with white satin. Hose black silk
high above the knee. Black velvet shoes. Toque black
velvet with feather. Black Chain and Order of the
Golden Fleece round neck. Sword belt, black leather
and silver fastenings. Sword, scabbard black leather,
The Duchess of Devonshire, as Zenobia,
Queen of Palmyra, wore a magnificent costume. The
skirt of gold tissue was embroidered all over in a
star-like design in emeralds, sapphires, diamonds,
and other jewels outlined with gold, the corners
where it opened in front being elaborately wrought in
the same jewels and gold to represent peacocks
outspread tails. This opened to show an underdress of
cream crepe de chine, delicately embroidered in
silver, gold, and pearls and sprinkled all over with
diamonds. The train, which was attached to the
shoulders by two slender points and was fastened at
the waist with a large diamond ornament, was a green
velvet of a lovely shade, and was superbly
embroidered in Oriental designs introducing the lotus
flower in rubies, sapphires, amethysts, emeralds, and
diamonds, with four borderings on contrasting
grounds, separated with gold cord. The trains was
lined with turquoise satin. The bodice was composed
of gold tissue to match the skirt, and the front was
of crepe de chine hidden with a stomacher of real
diamonds, rubies and emeralds. Jewelled belt. A gold
crown incrusted with emeralds, diamonds, and rubies,
with a diamond drop at each curved end and two
upstandinh white ostrich feathers in the middle, and
round the front festoons of pearls with a large
pearshaped pearl in the centre falling on the
The Duke of Portland as Duc di Savoia.
The Duchess of Portland as Duchessa di Savoia. Silver
brocade embroidered with pearls and diamonds, train
of cloth of silver lined with pale blue satin and
embroidered with pearls, tiara of sapphires,
diamonds, and pearls, and pearl necklace. The Duchess
was accompanied by Miss Mildred Grenfell as Bianca di
Piacoma, whose skirt was of a white satin embroidered
with pearls, and train of green brocaded silk.
The Earl of Rosebery as Horace
Walpole. Coat, George III. period. Dark green velvet
with large turn back cuffs of sage green silk. The
button holes and cuffs delicately embroidered with
silver. Star of the Order of the Garter worn on left
breast. Long vest, sage green, embroidered with dark
green flowers edged with silver. Breeches, dark green
velvet. Hose, delicate sage gray hose coming high up
and turned over in a roll. Order of the Garter worn
on left knee, blue moire riband of the Garter worn
over the right shoulder. Sword belt and frog, blue
velvet, embroidered with silver, worn underneath
vest. Court sword, black velvet and gold hilted.
Hair, powdered and queued with large black silk bow
and riband coming round the neck and hanging in front
on breast and tied. Real lace jabot and frilled
cuffs. Black high heeled shoes, scarlet heels, and
Earl of Latham, as the Doge of Venice.
Gold brocade gown and State robe embroidered with
gold. Large ermine tippet. White cloth skull cap, and
worn over that a gold cloth cap horned at back and
embroidered with gold and jewels. Gold and jewelled
waist belt. Cloth of gold shoes.
Countess Cadogan as Queen of Bohemia.
A black velvet gown, the full skirt showing a panel
of white satin studded with pearls and diamonds
(worked at Viscountess Duncannan's school) the bodice
plain, with large puffed sleeves and ruffles of lace.
A large Vandyked lace collar, two rows of pearls
encircling the waist. The collar and sleeves outlined
with pearls; other rows festooned across the bodice.
Ornaments, pearl necklace and bracelets and pearls
and diamonds in the hair.
The Countess of Dudley as Queen
Esther. Persian dress of white crepe thickly
embroidered in red dull gold. The skirt bordered with
three lines of green embroidery studded with
amethysts, turquoises, and pearls. A chasuble of
solid gold tissue encrusted with jewels fell from the
shoulders to the hem of the skirt. Armlets and
bracelets of dead gold set with the same jewels.
Head-dress, two veils, the under one white
embroidered with gold, and the upper one purple,
embroidered. Crown of dead gold, encrusted with
precious stones, and hanging on the forehead were 15
large drop pearls. Fan of peacock feathers, the
handle set with jewels, and necklace of 12 rows of
The Countess of Derby as Duchess of
Orleans. Rich blue silk stamped with purple velvet
and trimmed with antique lace, edged with gold. Front
and vest of gold and white brocade, the former
showing bands of gold embroidery laid on
horizontally. Train of brocaded velvet to match the
bodice, draped down on side with pink satin, and held
down here and there with diamond ornaments,
coronet-shaped cap of lace sprinkled with diamonds
The Marchioness of Londonderry as the
Empress Marie Therese. Gown of rich cream satin,
copied from a picture in South Kensington Museum,
beautifully embroidered in shades of gold and pearls.
Stomacher of diamonds with ropes of pearls festooned
on each side and diamond brooches all along the top.
Train of rich cream acanthus leaf brocade, fastened
on the left shoulder with a huge diamond buckle
caught at the waist with another. Necklace of
pear-shaped pearls, with another diamond necklace
above, and a crown studded with jewels.
Lady Helen Stewart, Lady Beatrix
Fitzmaurice, Lady Beatrice Butler, Lady Alexandra
Hamilton and Miss Stirling as Archduchesses in
Waiting on Marie Therese were dressed alike in stiff
silver tissue, veiled with white lisse and half hoops
of old-fashioned blue satin riband; large flounces of
white lisse, and quaint sleeves, with frills and bows
of blue riband.
Mr A.J. Balfour - Dutch costume of
1660, black broche tunic embroidered with jet, full
breeches, black silk cloak and large hat of the
Mr Joseph Chamberlain - Louis Seize
costume in two shades of rose-coloured corded silk.
The Right Hon. H.H. Asquith, as a
Roundhead. Light brown cloth jerkin with dark brown
cloth sleeves and buttoned up the front. Breeches,
dark brown cloth, baggy, buttoned up the side. Boots,
heavy cavalier riding boots buff, coming up above the
knee. Steel spurs. Large black beaver hat, narrow
crowned and broad brim, scarlet feather curling over
left side. Buff leathern sword belt worn over right
shoulder, steel buckles. Heavy steel hilted sword.
Black leather scabbard, Roundhead collar and cuffs.
Lady Harcourt as a lady of the Court
of Henrietta Maria - maize brocade, slashed with
white, over a white quilted petticoat.
Viscount Peel as a Doge - robe of
crimson velvet, with ermine cape and horned cap.
The Duchess of Sutherland as Charlotte
Corday - a soft clinging gown of red crepe-de-chine,
with long sleeves to the waiste, finely tucked white
fichu fastened with roses, and muslin cap frilled
with point d'Alencon, and having a red, white, and
The Duchess of Westminster as Queen
Elizabeth of Bavaria - white satin gown with tabbed
bodice delicately embroidered in silver, collar of
beautiful old lace very high at the back, slashed
sleeves of satin, silver embroidery, and chiffon
divided into puffs with blue.
The Countess of Warwick as Marie
Antoinette - bodice and aniers of pink and gold
flowered brocade and gold lace studded with silver
sequins and diamonds, the square-cut neck trimmed
with old lace, and the chiffon sleeves divided into
small puffs with gold lace sparkling with jewels;
diamond rivieres were festooned across the front of
the bodice. The petticoat was of white satin draped
with chiffon scarves edged with gold and sequin lace.
The regal train of turquoise velvet was lined with
the same and enbroidered all over at equal distance
with raised gold fleur-de-lis, and fastened on each
of the shoulders with gold cord.
The Marchioness of Zetland as
Henrietta Maria, wife of Charles I, after Van Dyck,
in black and silver.
The Marchioness of Lansdowne as a lady
of the Court of Marie Therese - a white brocaded
sacque, elaborately embroidered in gold, and
under-dress worked in coloured silk and gold.
The Marquis of Lansdowne as Count
Kaunitz, Minister to the Empress Marie Therese, in a
uniform of black velvet, elaborately embroidered in
gold, with orders, &c.
The Duke of Fife appeared as a
courtier, late Elizabethan period; the Duchess of
Roxburghe in an Elizabethan costume;
The Duchess of Buccleuch as Elizabeth,
Duchess of Buccleuch, after Sir Joshua Reynolds;
The Duke of Somerset as the Protector
Somerset; the Duke of Alva as his ancestor at the
Court of Philip II of Spain, copied from an old
The Duke of Buccleuch as William
Cavendish, Duke of Newcastle (1676) after a painting
by Samuel Cooper; the Duke of Manchester in Georgian
The Earl of Dudley as Prince Rupert;
Earl Connington in a Louis Seize
costume of terra-cotta satin embroidered in gold; the
Earl of Selborne in an infantry uniform of the early
The Earl of Durham as the Duc de
Lord Iveagh as a cavalier, Louis XIII.
Lord Charles Montagu as Charles I.
after the picture by Van Dyck;
Lord Burton as Cardinal Dubois;
The Right Hon. H. Chaplin, M.P., as
General Lefebvre, First Empire;
The Earl of Crewe as Philip II;
Earl Spencer as a noble of the time of
and the Duchess of Hamilton as Mary of
Hamilton, Elizabethan period.