Princess of Pless (1873-1943)
Daisy, Princess of Pless is seen in the costume she wore, as the Queen of Sheba, at a costume ball organised by the Duchess of Devonshire in July 1897 to celebrate Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee.
Everyone at the ball would have been familiar with the biblical character of the Queen of Sheba and would have understood her to be the personification of luxury, beauty and independence.
The oriental costume consisted of a dress of purple and gold shot gauze and set with turquoise ovals with engraved hieroglyphics, and a train which was a mass of red, purple, green, blue and white jewels thickly encrusting medallions of raised gold. Over this she had a long pearl and diamond sautoir, and her famous cloth of gold was said to be worth £400 – a fortune at the time!
This cloth, differently arranged, adorned Daisy’s outfits many times and was admired at courts all over Europe. The ensemble was topped off with an Assyrian headdress studded with turquoises, emeralds and pearls, with jewels over both ears.