125 years ago, New Zealand women were vigorously campaigning to achieve the right to vote and would finally win that right in September of 1893.
The 1893 Women's Suffrage Petition is on display in a state-of-the-art conservation case to preserve the document for all New Zealanders as part of the permanent multi-award winning He Tohu exhibition at the National Library of New Zealand in Wellington. You can view this important document which represents a monumental part of New Zealand history.
As part of the celebrations 125 years on, Te Puna Foundation, the independent charity established to support the National Library, invited The Village Goldsmith to design a pin, pendant and earrings that pays tribute to these women.
The team of designers and craftspeople at The Village Goldsmith took inspiration from the Suffrage 125 camellia symbol and interpreted this into sterling silver jewellery featuring purple amethyst gemstones. Purple is an important colour that represents dignity and self-respect.
The rippling lines of sterling silver were inspired by the camellia as well as the soul-stirring He Tohu exhibition's 'Waka Huia' treasure box in which the 1893 Women's Suffrage Petition is housed. The jewellery design allows light to pass through and bounce off the open folds of silver, reflecting the purple hues of the amethyst gemstone at the heart of these pieces.
This jewellery is in recognition of those women who fought so hard for the right to vote 125 years ago, as we all remember, celebrate and look to the future to continue to progress women’s rights here and around the world.