Chain and pendant
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Given by the Soroptimist International of London Mayfair
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This painted enamel pendant was commissioned from the noted Arts and Crafts enameller Ernestine Mills (1871-1959) by Soroptimist International of London Mayfair as their President's badge in the mid 1940s. We know that they paid her seven guineas for it in 1946. The design notes their founding in 1942 and also commemorates the Alpha Club, founded in 1928, from which they grew.
Ernestine Mills trained during the 1890s under the influential enameller Alexander Fisher, and during the early decades of the Twentieth Century produced vibrant figurative panels and jewellery. Her dedication to the advancement of women and the Women's Suffrage Movement is often explicit in her work. She was a member of the Soroptimist Greater London club, founded in 1924, and for whom she created an enamelled President's badge in 1933.
The chain records the names and dates of office of the presidents from 1942 until 2006. They include the famous suffragette Flora Drummond (1943), the British Olympic fencer Elizabeth Carnegy-Arbuthnott (1969-70), and the actress and early BBC comedienne Helena Millais (1949 and 1950).
Object history note
The Soroptimist International of London Mayfair disbanded in 2010.
Chain and pendant, President's insignia for the Soroptimist International of London Mayfair, pendant made by Ernestine Mills, England, 1945-1946.
Jewellery; Enamels; Feminism; Metalwork