These antique earrings, intricately carved in the shape of sunflowers, have an unusual color scheme that makes them a lot more significant than mere pretty posies. For members of the Suffragette Movement, to whom we modern women owe the right to vote, purple signified dignity, green represented hope and white stood for purity. Jewels worn by the wealthiest suffragettes mixed amethysts, pearls and emeralds or peridots. Rhinestones, glass pearls and enamels of the same hues are typically seen in less expensive costume jewelry. These earrings are the only example I've yet seen in painted bone. Perhaps they were even decorated by their original owner, since women of that era were highly accomplished at handicrafts.
Also remarkable is their condition, which is simply superb relative to age. If American, they would've been made prior to passage of the 19th Amendment in August of 1920. If English, they could date as late as 1928, since women's suffrage wasn't comprehensive until then. American origin is somewhat more likely, since their provenance is a Midwestern estate. Whether the gilt metal screw backs are original is impossible to determine with certainty, but this type of fastener grew popular during Edwardian and Art Deco times, when ear-piercing was regarded as a bit barbaric.
As you may know, Suffragette jewelry has been rocketing in price since the star-studded TV movie "Iron Jawed Angels" appeared in 2004, revealing what those gals went through (including hunger strikes and beatings). Wearing Suffragette jewels is a great way to show your pride and appreciation and, now that the genre has been rediscovered, these earrings have serious investment value, too. Size is 3/4 inch round.
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