These beautiful pendant drop earrings are set with diamond, pink tourmaline, peridot and seed pearls. Whilst to many these stones have significance of hope, purity and express support for the womens' suffrage movement. Often identified with the initials of green, white and violet to Give Women Votes, and when the jewellers Mappin & Webb produced their Christmas catalogue in 1908 with a whole range of jewellery in these colours: occasionally you can find more subtle messages.
The Suffragists were started in 1866, by Millicent Fawcett handing a petition in to parliament, with the help of John Stuart Mills, which sought to enfranchise the property rights of women. Fawcett lead the National Union of Womens Suffrage Society and distanced herself from the more militant direct actions of the Womens Social and Political Union. She did this as she believed their actions would alienate the public and members of parliament. Her slogan was, 'Law-abiding suffragists'. Selfridges also produced at a similar time a range of 9ct jewellery with the same colours. Today, examples are thought to be Suffragette jewellery. However, as many were produced, it is more likely they were fashionable to have, though containing a subliminal message. Few true pieces of Suffragette jewellery are available with the accredited provenance.
These earrings are likely to have been worn by a woman of some importance and have a more subtle appeal. They contain diamonds, (for purity and woman), pink tourmaline, (love for one's ideals), peridot ( for hope and peace) and seed pearls (wisdom, patience and peace). They express clearly a Suffragist's hope: a peaceful and wise approach to their ideal of votes for women.
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