Grand Canyon 1926 • Kolb Brothers Photo Of Horsewoman Dorothy Paget • Signed
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Grand Canyon 1926 • Kolb Brothers Photo Of Horsewoman Dorothy Paget • Signed:
GRAND CANYON, 1926. Autographed photograph of Dorothy Paget, eccentric twentieth-century English horsewoman, touring the Grand Canyon by mule, accompanied by guide. Signed at the bottom right, presumably by Paget: “Dorothy, Grand Canyon.” Dated and numbered in the negative, Mar 31, 1926, #71. With the large printed information card of the photographers, Kolb Brothers, Grand Canyon Arizona. Photo measures 176 x 126mm (6.75 x 4 75”), card measures 8.25 x 6”. Photo is in Very Good condition, with just a few very faint creases/dimples. Both items are accompanied by documentation indicating that they were sold as part of a collection of Dorothy Paget ephemera.
The Honourable Dorothy Wyndham Paget (1905-1960) was the daughter of Almeric Paget, 1st Baron Queensborough, and the American heiress Pauline Payne Whitney. Fabulously wealthy, she had a brief fling investing in motorcar racing, forming a team of “Blower” Bentleys in the late 1920s, before moving on to horse racing, a field in which she excelled, becoming at one point “so much in the public eye that she was, apart from royalty, the best-known woman in the land,” according to a contemporary journalist. Over the course of her racing career, her horses won an estimated 1,532 races and she spent tens of millions of pounds, most of it to bookies to cover lost bets. She was a notoriously difficult owner, going through some twenty different horse trainers during her career, and a noted eccentric whose only interests were “Russian refugees, her horses, and food.” She named her servants after the colors of the rainbow. In later years, she lived a life of seclusion, much of it in bed. This photograph depicts Dorothy before all of that, as a smiling, fresh-faced young woman of twenty-one, the year in which she came into her inheritance.
The Kolb Brothers, Emery and Ellsworth, whose photography studio was “located at the toll gate at the head of Bright Angel trail,” were a fixture at the Grand Canyon from 1902 until Emery Kolb’s death in 1976. The studio still stands today, perched on the rim of the canyon, and is used as an art gallery and bookstore by the National Park Service.
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