This circular brooch, containing a photograph of Emily Wilding Davison in academic dress, formerly belonged to her friend and champion, Mary Leigh. The photograph of Emily Wilding Davison (for the photographer/publisher of the postcard see here) is rather worn and has a little ink scribble on it – though what the intention – if any – of this is, I cannot say.
The photo is held in the brooch frame by a card showing Sylvia Pankhurst’s WSPU design, in purple, white and green, of ‘the sower’. This may originally been a component in a WSPU badge. Written on it in capital letters, in Mary Leigh’s idiosyncratic style, is ‘LIBERTY. NO SURRENDER. E.W.D.’.
This is a piece that, unlike so much else on the market, clearly merits the description ‘suffragette jewellery’. I do not think that this commemoration photo of Emily Wilding Davison was issued by the WSPU in this particular style of circular brooch, but suspect that Mary Leigh herself put the photo in it. The brooch is edged with alternating little pink and white stones. It is worth noting that Mary Leigh, even with her close acquaintance with WSPU imagery and branding, did not bother to select or commission a brooch with stones reflecting more closely the WSPU colours.