[ The Mitford family. ] Nine original family photographs, including two of Nancy Mitford as an infant, four of her mother, one of her father, from an album belonging to a child of Thomas Gibson Bowles, grandfather of the Mitford sisters.

[ Thomas Gibson Bowles (1841-1922), grandfather of the six Mitford sisters (Diana, Jessica, Unity, Nancy, Deborah and Pamela), daughters of David Freeman-Mitford, 2nd Baron Redesdale ]
Publication details: 
Doune, Scotland; One captioned 1907. Another (of Nancy Mitford) c.1904.
SKU: 19164

Nine original black and white photographs, ranging in size from 8.5 x 13.5 cm to 7 x 4.5 cm. All in good condition, lightly-aged, and each laid down on a piece of card cut from leaves of an album, the card carrying manuscript captions. One of the photographs, captioned 'Father, on the Hoyden', is of a middle-aged Thomas Gibson Bowles in nautical attire, at the wheel of his yacht. The caption gives a clue to the provenance of the album. His daughter Sydney (1880-1963) – the future Lady Redesdale – features in four of the photographs as 'Honble. Mrs Mitford', and as she would not have referred to herself thus, she is ruled out as owner of the album. The pictures must therefore have belonged to one of Bowles's other three children: George (1877-1955), Geoffrey (1879-1968) or Dorothy (1885-1971). The other eight pictures are as follows: 'Miss Nancy Mitford' (the largest picture, showing a baby in a pram, c. 1904, and possibly the earliest surviving photograph of her?), 'Mr. Mitford & Nancy' (he in whites, smoking a pipe; she aged around three, on his shoulders), 'Mrs. Mitford. | 1. Graham Street' (on horseback, outside the Mitfords' first matrimonial home), 'Mrs. Mitford. ' (standing forlornly on the banks of a lake); 'Hon. Mrs. Mitford' (a studio photograph, looking depressed with her hands on the back of a chair), 'Honble. Mrs. Mitford' (seated on a wicker chair outside a country house), 'S. Bowles | Doune, A<?>. N[orth]. B[ritain].' (seven gentlemen and ladies, some seated on outside steps), 'Misses H. Vickers, Port. Mrs Mitford. H.' (eight gentlemen and ladies, standing in a conservatory, the photograph inscribed by 'D. | for a'). The reverses of the card carry fragments of photographs with three captions which provide further clues: 'T G B. Miss Bowles.', 'Wilbury House 1907' (for this Wiltshire country house, the property of Sir Henry Malet, see the Duchess of Devonshire's autobiography) and 'E. B.'?>?>