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Women's Social and Political Union china teapot

H M Williamson & Sons and Women's Social and Political Union1909

Museum of London

Museum of London
London, United Kingdom

White china teapot decorated with Sylvia Pankhurst's 'trumpeting angel' roundel in the Suffragette purple, white and green tricolour. The motif incorporates a winged angel of freedom blowing her trumpet, the banner of 'Freedom' above her head. In the background are the initials of the Women's Social and Political Union (WSPU) set against prison bars surrounded by the thistle, shamrock, and rose and dangling chains. The teapot has a green handle and the lid a green rim and knob. This is part of a 22 piece tea service commissioned for use in the Refreshment room at the Women's Exhibition held by the Women's Social and Political Union in May 1909 at Prince's Skating Rink in Knightsbridge.
The refreshment stall was the most successful of the 50 exhibition stalls taking a total of £600 over the two weeks. This success was in part due to the donations of refreshments from companies including Liptons, Perrier and Idris, the loan of a soda machine from the British Automatic Aerated Company for the making of ice-cream soda and the the suggestion in the Votes for women newspaper that ‘a good idea is to make up parties for tea....‘One must have tea somewhere – why not at Prince’s. Invite your friends to meet you there for tea’. Half way through the exhibition the newspaper also appealled to members for additional donations of chickens, hams, tongues, cake, sweets, strawberries & cream, tinned fruit, bread, butter, tea, coffee, sugar & milk. At the close of the exhibition additional funds were raised by the selling of the tea services, either as individual pieces or whole sets.

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