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Mary Ann Herapath, Marion Sambourne, Maud & Roy Sambourne & Frances Linley © Linley Sambourne House 

The Women of the Messel Family 

Six generations of women from one remarkable family are represented in the Messel Dress Collection. The collection traces the stories of these women's lives and their rise in society from middle class comfort to the public stage of the aristocracy.


After the death of her mother Mary Anne Herapath in 1895 Marion Sambourne packed away two items of clothing in memoriam. From then on each generation has lovingly preserved the clothing of their maternal ancestors, adding to the collection with items of their own dress. At the heart of the collection is the dress worn and preserved by Maud Messel and her daughter Anne, Countess of Rosse. 


All the women of this extended family have fulfilled their social obligations to dress correctly, while demonstrating a strong individual style.

 

Maud Messel with her daughter Anne c1902. ©The Messel Collection at Nymans Gardens, The National Trust

     

Madame Yevonde studio portrait of Anne, Countess of Rosse with her daughter Susan Armstrong-Jones 1938. ©Birr Castle Archives Archives

Maud Messel with her daughter Anne c1902. ©The Messel Collection at Nymans Gardens, The National Trust

            

Madame Yevonde studio portrait of Anne, Countess of Rosse with her daughter Susan Armstrong-Jones 1938. ©Birr Castle Archives Archives

 

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