Spectacular Domed Antique Ring in Suffragette Colors
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All Items: Archives: Estate Jewelry: Costume: Rhinestone: Pre 1930: item # 999150
GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
Sold; thank you!
As you know if you collect Suffragette jewelry, affordable rings are very, very rare. In the past, we've had only one and it sold the same day it was posted. Compared to brooches, necklaces and bracelets, few rings were ever made and most were custom creations featuring gold and genuine gems.
This unusual example -- done in gilt brass with pretend jade, pearls, amethysts and peridots -- is also remarkable for its size: a massive 1.5 inch tall and an inch wide. Nobody could miss seeing it, when the owner wore it on a march or to a meeting!
Because the jewels weren't used on a daily basis, but typically appeared only on special occasions, they tend to survive in great condition. Apart from slight wear to the metalwork and pearl finish, which requires magnification to notice, the only flaw I see here is that the shank isn't original. At some point, probably long ago, this adjustable band was added -- which is, of course, a convenience for us today. The metal isn't a match, but that doesn't detract, since it's completely obscured by the large face of the ring. Provenance is a California estate and dating would be circa 1900-1920.
This quirky color combination held deep meaning among 19th century and early 20th century feminists, for whom green represented hope, purple signified dignity and white stood for purity. The language we associate with "regard" jewelry applied, too: The "G" of green, "W" of white and "V" of violet comprised an abbreviation for Give Women (the) Vote. It seems cryptic now, but was clearly understood by everyone in an era when messages were also communicated by which flowers you sent, how you held your fan and which corner of a calling card you folded down, if any.
Tucked away and forgotten for decades, Suffragette jewelry began rapidly gaining value when the movie "Iron Jawed Angels" debuted in 2004, revealing what the gals went through (including hunger strikes and beatings) before all women achieved in the vote in the US in 1920 and the UK in 1928. We try our best to maintain a good selection of pieces, but demand keeps growing. At present, we have several necklaces, brooches and earring sets in stock -- plus TWO costume rings, which is really a marvel. If you've been searching for a ring, have a look at both to see which suits you better.
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