The Elkins-Abruzzi Affair

A few years before Anita Rhinelander Stewart nabbed a royal title, there was another American heiress who made an attempt to capture a gentleman born to the purple: Katherine Elkins, the daughter of West Virginia Senator Stephen Benton Elkins. Her suitor was the Duke of Abruzzi, the grandson of King Vittorio Emanuele II of Italy, …

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Portrait of an Artist: John Singer Sargent

No one looking at the deft and sensitive renderings of the Edwardian era’s wealthy and blue-blooded society would think that John Singer Sargent found portraiture tedious. Yet, had it not been for Sargent’s excellence we would be cheated of his art and of understanding the growth of conspicuous consumption that characterized the lifestyles of the …

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Fortuny’s “Delphos” Gown

Ladies’ fashions had pretty much settled by the Edwardian era. The days when Charles Worth would wreak sensation and havoc upon the lives of his female clients had passed, and for the most part, the silhouettes of the 1880s, 1890s and early 1900s flowed neatly with one another; only minor bumps like the brief fashion …

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