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Brooch

  • Place of origin:

    England (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1912 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Pearson, Reginald (maker)
    Pearson, Reginald (designer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Gold decorated with sapphire and moonstones

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Katherine Chapman

  • Museum number:

    M.30-1995

  • Gallery location:

    Jewellery, Rooms 91 to 93, The William and Judith Bollinger Gallery, case 29, shelf A, box 6

A brooch, ring and necklace by Reginald Pearson were given to the V&A by Katharine Chapman. They were probably commissioned from Reginald Pearson by his friend Arthur Morley Jones for Mary Houseman to whom he became engaged on 5 September 1912. They were married on 27 April 1915. Katharine Chapman was the daughter of this marriage.

Reginald Oswald Pearson (1887-1915), painter, engraver, jeweller, worker in stained glass and poet, a former student at the Royal College of Art, London, was reported missing on 16 June 1915 near Hooge while serving as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Lincolnshire Regiment, having joined up in August 1914 as part of the Artists' Rifles. His name is on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial although his body was never recovered. He is also commemorated in the 1922 student journal of the Royal College of Arts and on the memorial by Percy Metcalfe, now on the Stevens Building at the RCA.

His obituary, printed in the Arts and Crafts journal 'The Apple' in 1920 describes his love of craftsmanship and tradition, describing him as 'an independent mind, determined to take nothing on trust and above all to avoid all "modern" theoretical experimentalism'. This interest in past craftsmanship can be seen in the use of niello and cabochon stones, taken from the traditions of medieval jewellery.

Physical description

Gold brooch decorated with sapphire and moonstones

Place of Origin

England (made)

Date

ca. 1912 (made)

Artist/maker

Pearson, Reginald (maker)
Pearson, Reginald (designer)

Materials and Techniques

Gold decorated with sapphire and moonstones

Dimensions

Height: 4.2 cm, Width: 2.9 cm, Depth: 0.5 cm

Object history note

Reginald Oswald Pearson was listed as part of the Regular Battalion in the Lincolshire Regiment in the Regimental Roll of Honour of the Artists Rifles. He became one of the 2003 members of the Artists Rifles who died in the 1914-18 war. The Roll of Honour recorded that 'this moment, without frivolity, the fact that these boys, all of them, looked death straight in the face, laughing and smiling, and that the Artists earned at that time the sobriquet of 'The Suicide Club'.'

Arthur Morley Jones was the brother of the sculptor and medallist Sidney Langland Jones (1888-1948) who studied at the Royal College of Art with Reginald Pearson. Although Reginald Pearson volunteered for the Artists Rifles, Arthur Morley Jones applied for exemption as a conscientious objector and his brother Sidney Langland Jones appears to have done likewise. Conscientious objectors were placed under a great deal of legal and social pressure and it took courage to assert your religious or moral refusal to serve.

Descriptive line

Gold brooch decorated with sapphire and moonstones, designed and made by Reginald Pearson, England, about 1912

Materials

Gold; Sapphire; Moonstone

Subjects depicted

Vine scrolls

Categories

Jewellery; Metalwork; Accessories

Collection

Metalwork Collection

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