L a - b e a u t é - s a u v e r a - l e - m o n d e ~ D o s t o ï e v s k i

L a - b e a u t é - s a u v e r a - l e - m o n d e  ~  D o s t o ï e v s k i

Friday, April 13, 2018

Only the very best, twice - portraits of Maud Glen Coats, later Marchioness of Douro, later Duchess of Wellington, by John Singer Sargent and Philip de László

(Lilian) Maud Glen Coats (3 February 1885, Belleisle, Scotland - 3 May 1946, London), the daughter of the George Coats, 1st Baron Glentanar, a Scottish cotton manufacturer, married Arthur Wellesley, Marquess of Douro in 1909. They had two children, a son and daughter. Her husband made himself notorious in the run up to World War II by his support of far-right and anti-Semitic causes. A member of the Anglo-German Fellowship from 1935, he was a strong proponent of appeasement. He had succeeded to the title of 5th Duke of Wellington in 1934 and died during the war he'd so opposed, in 1941. The couple's son, now 6th Duke of Wellington, was killed in action in Italy only two years later. Their daughter would marry and live until 1998, but the Duchess died exactly a year after the war ended in Europe, at the age of sixty-one.

Portrait by John Singer Sargent, 1906. She was twenty-one and not yet married.
Portrait by Philip de László, 1922. She was by now Marchioness of Douro and thirty-seven years old.


Bashing around, trying to find more information on the subject of these two portraits - it took forever to even discover when she'd been born - I stumbled upon this luxury item(s) that had once been hers. "Off topic", rather, but I felt compelled to share.

This is her dressing set and its Moroccan leather traveling case, all made by the prestigious company of Asprey. The materials used for the set include 18ct gold, diamonds, crystal, and tortoiseshell. Those items featuring her signature are hallmarked and date to 1905, four years before her marriage, while those displaying her initial and coronet in diamonds were made after she became the Marchioness of Douro.

The full inventory:

Large round powder jar with solid 18ct gold screw top and collar with platinum and diamond monogram

Solid 18ct gold matchbox cover with platinum and diamond monogram

Hip flask with removeable solid 18ct gold drinking vessel and solid 18ct gold top

18ct gold capped curling tongs burner with platinum and diamond monogram

Curling tongs with 18ct capped handles

18ct gold capped oval hairbrush with platinum and diamond monogram

Long round hatpin jar with 18ct screw top

2 smaller round 18ct screw top bottles

Large square 18ct top jar

Smaller round 18ct screw top hatpin jar

Large square 18ct screw top bottle

2 smaller square 18ct screw top bottles

Small square 18ct screw top bottle

Various tortoiseshell items including pair of oblong clothes brushes, pair of oval hair brushes, hand mirror, glove stretchers, mixing spoon, page turner, hair combes in Asprey leather case, curling tongs with 18ct collars, pin cushion with 18ct mount, soap dish, powder jar.

Other items includes a leather card case with 18ct corners, leather matchstick holder with striker, inkwell all marked Asprey. Also a gold plated Razor by Schlick and an amber cased cigarette holder.


  1. I think Laszlo wins this round, even though he does have the advantage of a more mature subject. That case is heavenly!

  2. Agree, the de László is very flattering. And it's definitely worth going off piste for a look through her travelling case. Gold-plated curling tongs! Who knew they existed? Thanks for the snoop!

  3. Oh the leather travelling case is not off-topic! The hallmarked gold, platinum, diamonds, crystal, tortoise shell and exquisite leather are stunning art objects, so expensive that few families in the nation could have afforded the gift.

    It is a shame Maud married the 5th Duke of Wellington; he was a piece of work :(