To celebrate the release on 12 October of the film ‘Suffragette’ (for which I was an historical consultant) I will post each day an image of a suffrage item that has passed through my hands.
For my current catalogue – No 189 – which contains a good deal of suffrage material – as well as general books and ephemera by and about women – see here.
In 1907, with this design, Dora Meeson Coates (c 1870-1955), an Australian artist living with her husband in Chelsea, won a competition organised by the National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies and the Artists’ Suffrage League.
The poster shows ‘Mrs John Bull’ holding an empty dish labelled ‘Votes for Women’ while six boys – ‘Primrose League’, Trade Unions’, ‘Liberal Federation’, ‘Women’s Liberal Association’, ‘S.D.F’ and ‘I.L.P’ – clamour for more soup from a large bowl labelled ‘Political Help’. She says: “Now you greedy boys I shall not give you any more until I have helped myself.”
It was one of three exceedingly rare posters that I bought at auction a few years ago,
Dora continued to work closely with leading members of the Artists’ Suffrage League, such as Mary Lowndes and C. Hedley Charlton as well as designing the ‘Commonwealth Australia’ banner that was carried in the 1911 suffrage ‘Coronation Procession’. That banner is now on display in Parliament House, Canberra.
You can read much more about Dora Meeson Coates’ association with the suffrage movement in my The Women’s Suffrage Movement: a reference guide.