1888 Lady Forbes-Leith, née Mary Louise January (d.1930) by Francisque-Edouard Bertier (Fyvie Castle - Turriff, Aberdeenshire, UK)

She was born in St. Louis, Missouri, USA and married Alexander Leith. According to his Wikipedia article, “...Forbes-Leith married the daughter of a director of an Illinois steel mill in 1871. He worked his way up in to become president of the Joliet Iron and Steel Company, which later merged into Illinois Steel and eventually the United States Steel Corporation, of which Leith became a director. He was also a partner in a merchant bank. In 1889, Forbes-Leith used the fortune he had made in the steel industry to acquire Fyvie Castle in Aberdeenshire for £175,000 and invested large sums in its restoration. He was also a Justice of the Peace and Deputy Lieutenant of Aberdeenshire. In 1905 he was raised to the peerage as Baron Leith of Fyvie, of Fyvie in the County of Aberdeen…

Lord Leith of Fyvie married Marie Louise January, daughter of Derick Algernon January, of St Louis, Missouri. They had one son and two daughters (of which the youngest died as an infant). His only son Percy Forbes-Leith died while serving in the Second Boer War. Leith died at Hartwell House, Buckinghamshire, in November 1925, aged 78, and was cremated at Golders Green Crematorium. The barony died with him. Lady Leith of Fyvie died at Hartwell House in June 1930, aged 82. Lord Leith's estates, including Fyvie Castle, passed to his daughter and only surviving child, the Honourable Ethel, wife of the former Conservative Member of Parliament Sir Charles Rosdew Burn, 1st Baronet. In 1925, the latter assumed the surname and arms of Forbes-Leith of Fyvie, for himself, his wife and son, according to the terms of his father-in-law's will (see Forbes baronets for more information on the baronetcy)…” According to her article in thepeerage, they married on 19 October 1871.

This is a reverse Andrew Carnegie story. The future of her hometown, St. Louis, is very much in doubt at this time.

The nationality of the dress may be French; Berthier was a French artist and wealthy Americans, possibly including a wealthy British expatriate and his American wife, were becoming regular patrons of Paris couturiers at this time.

From artuk.org; filled in shadows.

1888 Lady Forbes-Leith, née Mary Louise January (d.1930) by Francisque-Edouard Bertier (Fyvie Castle - Turriff, Aberdeenshire, UK) From artuk.org shadows

Her tight-fitting ends in a peplum almost like a mantua court dress from Louis XV’s time. She may be wearing a fur, not fur-trimmed, coat. The sleeve tops are slightly up turned. The dress has what look like revers and a stomacher.

Keywords:  1888, Berthier, Mary Louise January, Lady Forbes-Leith, January family, Forbes-Leith family, curly coiffure, jeweled feather headdress, ribbon headdress, earrings, necklace, fitted bodice, trapezoidal neckline, lace-trimmed neckline ruff, modesty piece, quarter length close upper sleeves, long lower sleeves, flared cuffs, revers, stomacher, floral bodice ornament, vee waistline, peplum, close over-skirt, fur coat

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