The necklace is composed of 19 enamelled quatrefoils set with garnets. The pendant cross has quatrefoil ends decorated in the same manner as the links of the necklace. In each of the angles between the arms are four small pearls surmounted by a gold fleur-de-lis.
The necklace and pendant were made for Louisa Burton, the second wife of the architect A. W. N. Pugin (1812-1852). Pugin's account with John Hardman & Co. of Birmingham contains an entry on 21 December 1843 for 'A Gold enamel Chain & Cross' costing £47. 15s. Louisa died eight months later.
The cross and chain became part of the large parure (set) of jewellery prepared by Pugin for his intended third bride, Helen Lumsdaine. He persuaded Helen to convert to Catholicism, but in 1848, before they could be married, he was parted from her at the insistence of her relatives. Pugin subsequently married a Catholic, Jane Knill, on 10 August 1848. The society gossip Ralph Nevill recalled her as a very pretty woman, her every jewel mounted 'in a Gothic setting'. The set was exhibited in Pugin's Medieval Court at the Great Exhibition of 1851, where it was admired by Queen Victoria.
Materials & Making
Each unit in the chain was stamped out in two parts which were snapped together.