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STOCKINGS TOPS AT AUCTION; Historic hosiery worn by young suffragette.

Byline: Cara Simpson

A RARE pair of stockings worn by a young suffragette in the 20th century and found in Warwickshire has sold for a staggering pounds 480.

The Suffragette stockings, which were well worn and had two holes sewn up, were unearthed from a house in Warwickshire before going under the hammer with a guide price of between pounds 200 and pounds 300 at a Hansons auction in Derby last month. The historic hosiery eventually sold for pounds 480 to a bidder from London. They were beautifully hand-stitched and inscribed "Votes for Women" in purple, white and green - purple for dignity, white for purity and green for hope.

Auctioneer Charles Hanson said: "We associate the Suffragette movement and right to vote for women with Emmeline Pankhurst who founded the Women's Social and Political Union in 1903.

"Pankhurst developed the movement into a more radical and militant one.

"The stockings reflected an age in the early 20th century when Suffragettes were using tactics such as chaining themselves to railings and setting fire to mailbox contents. The stockings are a remarkable survivor from almost a century ago and capture a history in their tired soles."

The valuable stockings come from a period of history when women from mainly middle class backgrounds became frustrated by their social and economic situation.

Their struggle for change began as early as 1865. In 1897, the National Union of Women's Suffrage Societies was founded, led by Millicent Fawcett who was driven because constitutional campaigning in the issuing of leaflets and presenting petitions which did not have much effect.

A right to vote for women over 30 was passed in 1918 and in 1928 women finally achieved suffrage on the same terms as men.

Mr Hanson will cast an expert eye over a variety of items at Leek Wootton Village Hall, Leek Wootton, near Warwick, between 12noon and 3.30pm next Thursday.

For more information call Carol Jones on 07802 839915 or email service@hansonsauctioneers.
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Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Dec 1, 2011
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