Antiques Roadshow and Midlands auction house Gildings have conspired again to find a second William Burges brooch.
The new discovery has been acquired by the Victoria and Albert Museum.
To recap, it was back in March 2011 that Geoffrey Munn,
jewellery expert and managing director at Wartski, chose a slot on
the Antiques Roadshow to highlight a series of watercolour
brooch designs by William Burges (1827-71). Telling viewers he had
been searching for a Burges brooch for more than 20 years,
Leicestershire retiree Jill Cousins knew she had one upstairs in
her jewellery box.
She contacted her local saleroom, Gildings of Market
Harborough, who were quick to confirm its links to the most
celebrated of the Victorian art-architects. After appearing on
another episode of the Roadshow filmed in
Birmingham when Mr Munn was made aware of the discovery, it was
sold at Gildings on August 2 for £31,000 to a private
It seems lightning has struck twice. A Christmas edition of the
Roadshow featuring the full story of the brooch has
unearthed another identical example. The owner again contacted
Gildings, who this time were able to negotiate a private treaty
sale with the V&A, who hold the original watercolour
Both of the 1¾in (4.4cm) white and gilt metal brooches set with
a heart-shaped garnet and turquoises fashioned as forget-me-nots
are engraved with the gothic initials JPMS. Coupled
with the knowledge that the watercolour sketch is inscribed
Seddon, it is probable they were made to mark the wedding
of the architect John Pollard to Margaret Seddon in 1864.
John Pollard Seddon (1827-1906), who moved in the circle of the
Pre-Raphaelites, was the business partner of John Prichard of
Llandaff, a friend of Burges, and the discovery of a second brooch
adds weight to the theory that these were made as gifts for
bridesmaids or other members of the wedding party.
It is hoped it will go on display later this year.
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