1844 Lady Augusta Margaret Fitzclarence by Sir William Charles Ross (Bonham's)

Bonham's lot notes have this quick bio of Lady Augusta, "Lady Augusta was a daughter of George Augustus Frederick FitzClarence, 1st Earl of Munster PC (1794–1842). He was the eldest of William IV's ten illegitimate children with his long-term mistress, the Irish actress, Dorothea Jordan. Nine of their children were named after William's siblings and given the surname, 'FitzClarence'. Lady Augusta's mother, Mary Wyndham (d. 1842) was also of illegitimate birth, the daughter of George Wyndham, 3rd Earl of Egremont and his mistress Elizabeth Fox. George and Mary had seven children of which Lady Augusta was the second.

The Earl committed suicide at the age of forty-eight in London. He shot himself with a pistol presented to him by King George IV when Prince of Wales. His wife Mary died in the same year leaving Lady Augusta and her siblings orphans. Given the provenance of the present lot, it is probable that their uncle, the Reverend Lord Augustus FitzClarence, a bachelor living in Oxfordshire at the time, took charge of the children.

Lady Augusta married the Swedish Baron, Philip Knut de Bonde (1815-1871) in Paris in 1844, the same year that the present lot was painted, possibly as a keepsake for her uncle. In 1846, she gave birth to a daughter in Sweden named, Ingeborg Augusta Sofia de Bonde (1846-1872), but Lady Augusta died just six days following the birth."

Lady Fitzclarence is casually dressed in upper class white with a blue waist band and trim band at her neckline. Ruffles adorn her sleeves and neckline. She appears to be wearing a vee neckline in keeping with evening fashions of the day. Her skirt is full enough to suggest she may be wearing a petticoat or two, possibly made of crinoline composite fabric.

Keywords:  1844, Ross, Welf family, Baroness, British, long straight coiffure, vee neckline, ruffle, elbow length close sleeves, engageantes, waist band, bows, natural waistline, full skirt


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