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  • Writer's pictureAntiques in Oxford

Suffragette Jewellery

With International Women’s Day on the 8th March the subject of Suffragette jewellery is a timely one.

The period was short the majority made between 1908 and 1914.

 

Pieces featured the symbolic colours of Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU) founded by Emmeline Pankhurst. Purple/violet for dignity, white for purity and green for hope. These colours were first seen on suffragette banners and sashes.

 

This jewellery was popular among women from all walks of life who wanted to show subtle support for the cause to win the vote for women.

 

There are certain makers names to look out for such as jewellers Arthur and Georgie Gaskin  who made pin badges but they also gem-set jewellery for more bohemian clients.

Ernestine Mills designed heart-shaped enamel badges for WSPU events using the makers mark EM.

 

In 1908 Mappin & Webb produced a catalogue of suffragette pieces, offering gem-set jewellery and badges. The cause was gaining momentum.

 

The main gems used were amethysts (purple), peridots (green) and seed pearls (white).

But also, pink tourmalines, diamonds and enamel featured.

 

Suffragette jewellery wasn’t all hall marked so it is difficult to date. This is done by style and the quality of the craftsmanship.

 

Many items sold today are not actually suffragette jewellery. They just happen to use the appropriate colour of stone.



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