Antique 1929 sterling silver Humane Poster Contest medallion American S.P.C.A.

A beautiful sterling silver medallion celebrating a winner of the Humane Poster Contest in 1929. The poster contest was held by the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (MSPCA) and the American Humane Education Society. It was a contest for both public and private schoolchildren, grades 4 and up. The contest was meant to encourage artistic development while also educating children about animal care and and humane treatment. Many of these medals survive in bronze, but very few in silver.

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals was founded in 1866 by Henry Bergh and it was, in many ways, the first organization of its kind. From a "TIME" article BY LILY ROTHMAN AND LIZ RONK (APRIL 5, 2016):

“One of the things to always keep in context is that we’re talking about the period following the Civil War,” says ASPCA historian Dr. Stephen Zawistowski. “It was a period of tremendous social upheaval and change.” Case in point: many early advocates of animal protection had also been involved in antislavery causes before the Civil War. While animal rights groups sometimes face criticism for prioritizing animals’ needs over those of people, the ASPCA grew out of a larger human-focused reform moment. Bergh, in fact, was also instrumental in the founding of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children."

One person acting upon his/her conscience can change the lives of many. Bergh forced Americans to examine how they treated animals. He was berated and ridiculed for it, he wept at what he witnessed in the fields, the slaughterhouses, the city streets . . . Thanks to his efforts, surely the world has a lesser measure of suffering.

Profits from the sale of this pendant will be donated to the ASCPA.

Measurements: 1 1/4" round
Era: 1920s (1929)
Markings: STERLING and ROBBINS Co. Attleboro, MA
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