Jane Morris, known as Janey, was the wife of the artist, designer and socialist William Morris. She was often painted by the artist Dante Gabriel Rossetti, who gave her this brooch. During the 1860s Rossetti visited the curiosity shops around Leicester Square and Hammersmith, collecting exotic jewellery and accessories for his paintings. This brooch is set with pastes (artificial gemstones). Fanny Cornforth wore it as a pendant in the The Blue Bower, painted by Rossetti in 1865.
Some of Jane Morris's jewels were bequeathed to the V&A by her daughter May in 1938. They included items given to her by Rossetti, such as this brooch.