Women of 100 years ago fought for their right to vote. They expressed their opinions in a multitude of ways, ranging from protests to the fashions they chose to adorn themselves in. At protests and demonstrations, women in England wore green, white and violet, which blended into a tricolored rainbow of activism, standing in for Give Women the Vote.
They wore pins, medallions, and buttons, with phrases such as, “Votes For Women” or “No Vote, No Tax”. There is no doubt that this type of jewelry existed, but how much and what kind, is up for debate. In the Mappin & Webb catalog for Christmas in 1908, there was a page of Suffragette jewelry that included five pieces, brooches and pendants, that were made with emeralds, amethysts, and pearls – the three suffragette colors. Outside of this evidence, it’s hard to say if a pendant like this one, crafted during the Edwardian era with the same colors, was meant for the same purpose or not. Some like to say that these pieces were in abundance, while some experts say there were only a few. Politics have an inevitable effect on fashion, so the linkage isn’t nonexistent. The trends of the times included similar colors, so which came first?
As far as I can tell, the 'The Women's Social and Political Union' in England was a group of courageous and strong women who stood up as one and demanded to be counted. The colors of the flags they waved and the buttons they wore were purple, to symbolize the instinctual need in all of us for freedom and dignity, white, to symbolize purity, and green, symbolic of hope and the color of spring and new life.
This antique Art Nouveau English drop pendant was handcrafted around 1905. It was made in 9 karat gold during the Arts and Crafts movement in England. It features two green peridot gemstones measuring 1.7 x 1.7 x 1.1 mm each, with a faceted oval amethyst at the center, measuring 9 x 6.5 x 4.7 mm and weighing approximately 1.46 carats. A lustrous natural white pearl drops at the bottom and measures 4.5 x 4.3 x 4.8 mm. Overall, this graceful piece measures 43.6 x 22 x 5.3 mm. It has been hallmarked with the gold purity content mark, “9ct”.
Whether this pendant was inspired by the suffragette movement or not we will never know for sure. What we do know, however, is how elegant, classic, and charming this piece is.
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