These are among the loveliest Suffragette earrings we've been privileged to offer. Besides being set with fabulous, large faux gems, they're exquisitely patterned on both sides. That the backs of these drops are as lavishly detailed as the fronts is a sure sign of very great age, not seen much after Victorian times. Screw fasteners existed in the 19th century, but gained wide popularity a little later, so we date these beauties circa 1905-1910.
To the Suffragettes' efforts through many decades, we modern women owe our right to vote, which was extended to all American women in 1920 and to all in Great Britain in 1928. As you know if you collect jewels from the Suffragette movement, the unusual combination of green, purple and white had deep meaning for early feminists. For them, 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. The wealthiest suffragettes mixed amethysts and pearls or diamonds with green stones such as emeralds or peridots, but pretend gems were naturally favored by the majority.
In this case, we have beautifully marbled faux jade, plus sparkling, faceted amethyst pastes and softly glowing glass pearls. Everything remains in spectacular condition, including the gilding. It takes high magnification to notice age-appropriate surface wear. It isn't unusual for Suffragette jewels to survive a century in great shape, since they were worn only occasionally (to meetings and when marching for the vote) -- then tucked away and forgotten for decades. They're been rapidly gaining value since the movie "Iron Jawed Angels" appeared in 2004, revealing what the 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, they're getting much harder to find. We try to maintain a good selection, but demand keeps growing. If these strike your fancy, you'd better not delay. They reached us from a Florida estate. and could have been made by an East Coast firm in America. However, the extremely high quality suggests origin in Bohemia or France. You'll be surprised how solid these are -- not a bit flimsy. They're truly superb.
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