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Mrs. Samuel Shaw Howland (1854–1902)
Date: 1898
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Medium: Watercolor on ivory; silver gilt
Dimensions: Overall: 3 7/8 x 3 in. ( 9.8 x 7.6 cm )
Credit Line: Gift of the Estate of Peter Marié
Object Number: 1905.112
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Fredericka Belmont, the daughter of financier, sportsman, and society leader August Belmont, was widely admired for her good looks and pleasant disposition. The "brilliant and fashionable" guests who attended her 1877 wedding to Samuel Shaw Howland in Newport comprised a veritable who's who of fashionable New York society. This miniature depicts the regal Mrs. Howland with an ermine-lined cape and extravagant jewelry. Even her tiny pet Chihuahua is an emblem of Gilded Age excess.