The Women's Institute (WI) was originally formed in Canada in 1897 and according to the National Archives a badge featuring the WI letters monogram, the motto "For Home And Country" and two maple leaves was designed by Laura Rose. The first British WI meeting was held on 16 September, 1915. The "For Home & Country" badge dates from the 1920s and a few designs were made. The badge can be seen worn by W.I. members during the Second World War.
The oval-shaped badge is made of gilded brass with "W” and “I" letters in a voided centre. On the left a red enamel rose depicts the British organisation and on the right a maple leaf represents the original WI which began in Canada. The motto "For Home and Country" is inlaid with green enamel. The rear has a simple pin and catch.
Several manufacturers made this badge over the years.
Fattorini & Sons were based initially in Bradford and later in Birmingham and Glasgow.
Fattorini's Birmingham locations were as follows:
1917-1918--Fattorini & Sons, 13 Pitsford Street, Birmingham (Fattorini bought the Joseph Moore medal works at this location)
1919-1927--Fattorini & Sons, 11 & 13 Pitsford Street, Birmingham
1928-1932--Fattorini & Sons, Bradford House, Hockley Hill, Birmingham
1933-1948--Fattorini & Sons, Bradford Works, Barr Street, Birmingham
Three Fattorini versions are currently known:
Straight maker mark - 'Fattorini & Sons Bradford' used this maker's mark up to around 1928. A large number of these badges have a peculiar pentangle motif in the centre of the rose. It appears this was a method of fabrication rather than meaning anything else. The shape of this badge is a slightly flatter oval than the badge that followed in 1932/33.
Arched name - 'Fattorini & Sons Ltd Bradford House Bham' thought to have been issued between 1928 and 1932. A very scarce badge to find and most badges continue to feature the pentangle motif inside the rose emblem. The design maintained the flatter oval that was replaced in 1932/33 (see blow).
Arched name - 'Fattorini & Sons Ltd Bradford Works Birmingham' used between 1933 and 1948. The Bradford Works factory operated in Barr Street, Birmingham.
W. O. Lewis (Badges) Ltd of Birmingham made a version which is probably the commonest seen nowadays. Exact dates of production are unsure currently, but given the prevalence of the badge it may be from the highwater mark of WI membership in the mid-1950s. Silver hallmarked versions of the badge made by W. O. Lewis exist with a dating hallmark letter for 1954.
An uncommon version encountered is that made by Marples & Beasley, again in Birmingham - the date of production is unknown though and the production run appears to have been quite low.
There are also a few unmarked types - one has a small dot on the reverse and another omits this – possibly from two different makers and production dates are unknown but again possibly into the 1950s.
A Welsh version of the badge featuring “FY NGWLAD A'M CARTREF” was made by W. O. Lewis and Fattorini (there is also a version without a maker's mark). It has the Welsh red dragon in the centre and the red rose and maple leaf as per the other badges. This badge is also known to have been made in sterling silver.
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