Mrs. Bradley Martin (ca. 1848-1920)
Watercolor on ivory; silver gilt
Overall: 2 7/8 x 2 1/4 in. ( 7.3 x 5.7 cm )
Signed middle right: "MEAVE T. GEDNEY" inscription: on cardboard backing: Mrs. Bradley Martin bottom edge of case stamped: "Black, Starr & Frost / Sterling"
Mr. and Mrs. Bradley Martin gained notoriety for their lavish masquerade ball held at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in 1897. Mr. Martin dressed as Louis XV, while Mrs. Martin presided as Mary, Queen of Scots, in a costume valued at over $400,000. This miniature depicts her in the extravagant ensemble, which included jewels that had once belonged to Empress Josephine of France. The couple endured scathing criticism for holding such a conspicuously excessive event during a time of economic depression. They moved to England to escape the scandal.
Gift of the Estate of Peter Marié
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.