Enjoy unlimited access: just £1 for 12 weeks

Subscribe now

“The most perfect models are sought for the ornaments they furnish. Museums and picture galleries are ransacked for devices of necklaces, earrings and pendants. I there observed an elegant cross copied from a picture by Quentin Massys in the National Gallery,” she writes.

It could be that the design to which Haweis refers is a pendant sold by Bonhams Bond Street (25/20/12% buyer’s premium) as part of the white-glove Glyn Cywarch contents sale on March 29.

The intricate gold work of this sky-blue enamel and banded agate cross pendant c.1865 is very similar to the cross on the orb held by the figure of Christ in the ‘workshop of Quentin Massys’ diptych in the national collection.

Housed in a fitted tooled leather case labelled Phillips, 23 Cockspur St, London, it sold for £8000.

Another example of the ‘good forms and good work’ of Robert Phillips (1810-81) was a Byzantine revivalist pendant c.1870 sold by Bonhams for £2000 as part of the Knightsbridge jewellery sale on March 15.

It takes the form of the patriarchal cross (representing the secular and ecclesiastic powers of Byzantine emperors) accented by clusters of granulation.

Again, it carried the plumed mark of the Phillips brothers and came in a fitted maker’s case.