Independent jewelers have come together to help raise funds for Women for Afghan Women, with an online charity auction organized by Rosie Lillis Communications. Alongside iconic British jewelers like Solange Azagury-Partridge, Shaun Leane and Pippa Small, work by talented new-gen names like Christopher Thompson-Royds, Rachel Boston and Otiumberg will also feature in the September 27 sale, run by London fine art auction house Roseberys.
After being shocked into action by recent pictures from Afghanistan and the bleak reality now faced by women in the country, Rosie Lillis pledged to use her platform to create an initiative that would make a tangible difference: “as a new mum to a little girl, I was utterly horrified by the devastating scenes in Afghanistan. The threat to safety, basic rights to work and education, not to mention lives, is just so real.” Within a few weeks, Lillis had asked 25 British jewelers and designers to donate a piece of jewelry to be sold at auction, with all proceeds sent to Women for Afghan Women, a frontline organization providing essential services, support and empowerment to women, children and families in need.
Designer Pippa Small, well-known for her work with Afghan artisans via the Turquoise Mountain organization, jumped at the chance to be involved. “My heart has broken watching the news over the last weeks. Working in Afghanistan has been one of the most wonderful and rewarding experiences of my life.” She donated the agate and gold vermeil Bahara necklace to the auction above, made by Afghan artisans in Kabul, on the lot list alongside gold and diamond Forget-me-Not earrings by Christopher Thompson-Royds, Otiumberg’s recycled gold name bracelet and a textured gold and pearl necklace by Jessie Thomas.
“One feels so helpless in the face of a sickening return to female disempowerment,” says Solange Azagury-Partridge, who described her donation, an 18ct gold ring spelling ‘love’ as “a gesture of love & support for the women and children of Afghanistan.” Rachel Boston felt similarly: “it has been heartbreaking to see the events currently unfolding in Afghanistan, knowing the way they will affect women’s rights, and human rights standards generally, which have been hard-fought for by Afghan citizens in the last few decades.” Each designer has contributed in their own way to the sale, which is expected to raise around $30,000 for vulnerable Afghan women.
In a chance for the public to pick up a unique piece of contemporary designer jewelry whilst supporting an excellent cause, Annoushka, Bear Brooksbank, BOOCHIER, By Pariah, Christopher Thompson-Royds, Gee Woods, Georgina Boyce, Humphrey Butler, Jessie Thomas, Liv Luttrell, Minka Jewels, Otiumberg, Pippa Small, Rachel Boston, Rebus, Rosa de la Cruz, Shaun Leane, Solange Azagury-Partridge, Sophie Keegan, Sophie Theakston, Tada and Toy, Tessa Packard, Theo Fennell and Theodora Warre have donated pieces ranging in price from $373 to $2,173. From Rachel Boston’s signature knife edge gold and diamond Uruz earrings, to Theo Fennell’s diamond and topaz Evil Eye Key Chain necklace and Shaun Leane’s classic Tusk bangle in solid silver and diamonds, many of the designers have chosen pieces that are emblematic of their style.
Women for Afghan Women was set up 20 years ago and is now the largest women’s organization in Aghanistan, working for people who have, and are, enduring human rights violations. As a grassroots organization delivering services via community programs throughout Aghanistan, as well as the New York Community Center in Queens, they support over 8,000 people a year and are key to the humanitarian relief effort during the current crisis, described by the organization as “heartbreaking.” “Their work is vitally important,” says award-winning British jeweler Shaun Leane. “I wanted to contribute in the hope we can raise much-needed money to help this cause. It is of the utmost importance to me that in times of conflict we come together to support those in need.”
For Liv Luttrell, the jeweler behind the sculptural Silver Twist earrings in the sale, “seeing the hard-won rights and freedoms of women and girls evaporating so fast is very painful to watch. As a woman running my own business and lucky enough to live in a city where I am supported and encouraged, their education and empowerment is a cause close to my heart.” Contemporary jewelry fans who feel the same, are now preparing to dig deep to help women and girls in Afghanistan.
Jewellers for Afghanistan will open Monday, September 27, until Monday October 4, 2021 at www.roseberys.co.uk. All proceeds will go towards Women for Afghan Women.