Mrs. Caroline Astor, Queen of the Fashionable Society of the Gilded Age of New York
Circa1900 Caroline Astor had reigned as queen of New York society for a quarter century. Others with ambitions for her throne -- Alva Vanderbilt Belmont, Mamie Fish, Mrs. Clarence Mackay and Tessie Oelrichs -- formed satellite groups and gained defectors from Mrs. Astor's court like jestor/major domo Harry Lehr. She gave her last ball in 1904 and her last dinner party in 1907.
Mr. and Mrs. Cornelius Vanderbilt II (neé Alice Claypoole Gwynne) as costumed for the infamous ball hosted by his brother and sister-in-law Mr. and Mrs. W. K. Vanderbilt, 26 March 1883. It was this ball and the social maneuvering of Mrs. W. K. Vanderbilt that earned the family a perpetual place on Mrs. Astor's List of the most elite New York families. Mr. Vanderbilt is dressed as Louis XVI and Mrs. Vanderbilt as "Electric Lights." Her costume is now among the Metropolitan Museum's collection.
The three Misses Chanlers were descendants of John Jacob Astor. Elizabeth Winthrop Chanler, the eldest, married John Jay Chapman, the writer and polemicist. John Singer Sarget portrait of Elizabeth Winthrop Chanler in 1893.