Pugin’s gift shared the same openwork design of a green vase of white fleur-de-lis although it had the Catholic legend Ave Maria Gratia Plena. It came by descent until it was sold by Christie’s back in 2015 for £4500.
The inscription to the brooch offered by Lyon & Turnbull (26% buyer’s premium) as part of its Design since 1860 sale in Edinburgh on October 11 is another Biblical allusion - Consider the Lilies. With some areas of loss to the white enamel, it was estimated at £2000-3000, and took £3200.
The original workshop drawing and a tracing for the distinctive design survives in the Hardman Powell archive. But who designed it - John Hardman Powell, William Burges or Pugin himself - is a matter of conjecture.
A third brooch without an inscription is pictured in Geoffrey Munn and Charlotte Gere ‘s Artists' Jewellery Pre-Raphaelite to Arts and Crafts (1989), That example, held in the collection of The Birmingham City Museum and Art Gallery, was purchased by the museum from an exhibition held at Bingley Hall in 1886 although the name of individual manufacturer was not recorded at the time.
Pugin designed only a small amount of jewellery although another gothic revival brooch (part of a parure) is in the collection of the Victoria & Albert Museum.
Pugin designed it for the lady he proposed to make his third wife, but the marriage did not take place, and instead he met and married Jane Knill in 1848. In 1851 the complete parure appeared at the Great Exhibition in London as part of the Medieval Court.