Anyone who knows just a little bit about Suffragette jewelry will tell you that there is a lot of debate as to wether or not it even existed outside of a few rare examples. I'm not here to argue the point, if you'd like I'd be happy to send you many links supporting both sides. The truth of it, as far as I can tell, is that '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.
Of course any large social and political movement has an inevitable effect on fashion and so these colors did become quite fashionable at the time and many an Edwardian lady could be found decked out in the somewhat odd combination of green, white and purple. It follows, then, that Edwardian jewelry began to be made in these colors as well. Whether this lovely pendant was made to symbolize the Suffrage Movement or simply made in the colors of the time we will never know, is it the chicken or the egg? Was it subversive? Probably not. More likely it had to do with an outward expression of camaraderie, of hope and the longing for a brighter future, something many of us can relate to today.
The necklace was lovingly handcrafted in 15 karat gold and set with bright green peridots and rich pink rubies. Made by the famed Murrle Bennet and Company, an Anglo-German firm started by Ernst Murrle and JB Bennett, which produced pieces for retail by the store 'Liberty and Co.', famous London Arts and Crafts dealers. The company was in existence from 1886-1914, this pendant was most likely made around 1908-1910. It is marked on the bottom drop with the Murrle Bennett and Co mark and with a 15kt stamp indicating the purity of the gold.
This necklace has a very feminine look and feel and great detailing, it has a lovely and striking design with lots of beautiful cannetille like gold work. The necklace is 17.5 inches long and the drop including the bale is 41 mm long and 21.7 mm wide. The necklace is set with 12 bright green peridot gems, the largest at the center measures 8.5x6.3.5 mm and weighs about 1.2 carats, the other peridots add up to about 2 carats in all. This beauty weighs 13.9 grams.
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