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Victorian Jewelry: VJ135

SUFFRAGETTE COLORS ( Edwardian Jewelry Suffragette Brooch ): As the nineteenth century began, women in England and the United States were battling it out on the political front for woman’s suffrage. The suffragists had a color code which they translated into jewelry: green, white and violet supposedly stood for “Give Women the Vote”. A more complex and accurate explanation for the colors comes from Mrs. Pethick-Lawrence, treasurer and co-author of the newspaper – “Votes for Women”. She introduced the colors at a mass rally in Hyde Park in June, 1908. She explained : “Purple stands for the royal blood that flows in the veins of every suffragette, the instinct of freedom and dignity…white stands for purity in private and public life…green is the color of hope and the emblem of spring.” The correct phrase is “Votes for Women”. This petite brooch is a lasting reminder of that important milestone that led to women gaining the right to vote. (In the U.S. women won this right in 1920.) Most of these jewelry pieces were small symbols worn to let other women know that the wearer was sympathetic to the cause. Marked “800” silver with a vermeil wash, this circular brooch has a faceted amethyst center stone, tiny white pearls and green paste stones. (c. 1910) Delicate in appearance, it is also indicative of the Edwardian taste in jewelry. The back retains its original C clasp. Delightful to the eye and steeped in history, suffragette pieces are scarce and highly collectable. Condition: Excellent. Size: 1” in diameter. Center stone is 3/8” in diameter.

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