As you know if you collect Suffragette jewelry, it's extremely rare to find a set. So few were made that many years could pass before we have the opportunity to offer another demi-parure.
Fresh from a Long Island estate, this marvelous set shows both Edwardian and Art Deco influences: the former in the white-on-white shimmer of airy filigree blossoms overlapping plaques of mother-of-pearl; and the latter in its mesh tassel and the strong geometry of the faux amethysts and peridots.
Although American women won the vote in 1920, it took until 1928 for all women to be included in England, so Suffragette jewelry was produced through most of the decade. This set was probably among the last examples, despite its hint of Edwardiana. My dating is mainly based on the simplicity of the reverses. (Earlier pieces, even in the '20s, often had ornately patterned backs.)
The earrings measure about 7/8 of an inch tall and 3/4 of an inch wide, while the slightly domed brooch -- also fitted with a bail for use as a necklace pendant -- measures a bit more than an inch in each direction, plus nearly 1 1/2 inches for the tassel. All stones appear original and the silvery metal settings are evidently of rhodium or chromium -- one of those hard-wearing, tarnish-free cousins to platinum. The earring fasteners are screw-type, as is right for the period, but a good jeweler could easily change them to posts or wires. The condition of every piece is fantastic; they can't have been worn much and have been stored with great care.
This ususual color combination, as you probably know, 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. All this 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" appeared in 2004, revealing what the gals went through (including hunger strikes and beatings). We try our best to maintain a good selection, but demand keeps growing. At present, we have several necklaces, brooches and earring sets in stock, but this is the only matched set. If it strikes your fancy, please don't delay.
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