Sunday, May 19, 2013

Sunday Sparkle: The Pugin Brooch, 1848

Part of a Parure (see below)
A.W.N. Pugin
Gold, Enamel, Garnet, Rubies, Turquoise, Pearls
This, and all related images:
The Victoria & Albert Museum
If the V&A ever has a garage sale or “jumble,” I have dibs on this brooch of enameled gold, set with a ruby, cabochon garnets, turquoises and pearls
Not only is it extremely beautiful, but, it’s got an interesting provenance. It’s one of the few pieces of jewlery designed by the English architect A.W.N. Pugin (partially responsible for the Palace of Westminster). Part of a large parure of jewels by Puding, designed in the Gothic style that he favored, this delicious brooch is inspired by medieval ecclesiastical adornment.

Pugin had a motive for designing this brooch. He designed it for the lady whom he proposed to make his third wife. That marriage was not to be, however, and, in 1848, he offered the parure to one Jane Knill who not only accepted the big box of sparklies, but also agreed to be his third wife. Considered excpetionally spectacular—the jewels, not Jane--in 1851, the complete parure was displayed at the Great Exhibition in London as part of the Medieval Court.

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