Kaleidoscope effect

Jewellery kaleidoscope

Early 20th century Suffragette costume jewelry

Opal, amethyst gold pendant. Early 20th century Suffragette costume jewelry

Opal, amethyst gold pendant. Early 20th century Suffragette costume jewelry

Early 20th century Suffragette costume jewelry
The movement for the granting of electoral rights to women, during the reign of Queen Victoria was a kind of equivalent to today’s political status. Ladies, participating in this movement preferred jewelry decorations, which became known as Suffragette costume jewelry.
Especially popular were brooches and pendants decorated with green, white, red and violet gemstones. Noteworthy, the colors of the stones had a special meaning. According to the first letters of their names, the suffragettes ciphered their appeal: “Give women the right to vote.” Thus, costume jewelry became a kind of symbol of women’s emancipation during the reign of Queen Victoria. In addition, the decorations worn by the participants of the movement, included the royal symbols, where each gemstone had a meaning. For example, the Amethysts represented Royalty, the Emeralds represented Nature and the Pearls represented Purity. Violet was the favorite color of Queen Alexandra, and the Prince of Wales preferred stone of white and green color, peridot.

Early 20th century Suffragette costume jewelry

Gorgeous gold moth brooch-pin, made of peridot, amethyst and moonstone. Early 20th century Suffragette costume jewelry

Chosen by the WSPU back in 1909 colors included Purple (Amethyst), that symbolized Dignity, white (Diamond, represents Purity) and green (Emerald) – Hope.

Meanwhile, in the era of the reign of Queen Victoria, the design of jewelery products became increasingly complicated. And thanks to the improvement of technological processes, the quality of glass and materials for artificial stones improved. By the middle of the XIX century it became fashionable to leave more open surfaces of stones in ornaments, which emphasized their light saturation. The colors of the “precious” stones became more and more realistic, but at the same time absolutely fantastic. Sentimental moods of time were expressed in the search for “own” stone, attracting luck to the owner.

Traditionally, plant motifs dominated in the design of ornaments. According to sources, Japanese art, where the line plays a huge role, influenced the designs. There were bizarre roots, trunks, flowers and leaves, winged insects, such as butterflies and dragonflies.

Suffragette movement in England, early 20th century

Suffragette movement in England, early 20th century

Early 20th century Suffragette costume jewelry

Source:
Judith Miller – Jewelry. Collector’s Guide – 2004