Welcome to Trevor Harris’s Masonic Medals newsletter. Here you will find many of the latest discoveries in the fascinating world of Masonic Medal collecting.
One of the attractions of collecting Masonic Medals is that you never know what is going to turn up next or be offered, sometimes items that you never knew existed. I would like to thank those collectors who have sent me photographs of medals and jewels in their collections, and also for giving me permission to illustrate them.
One item which has recently appeared is an example of the pierced symbolic jewel, Cat. No. TH11a, except that instead of being made from either silver or gilt (see below right), it is made in 15ct gold, the first Georgian solid gold pierced symbolic jewel I have seen or even heard of.
The 15ct. gold symbolic jewel
The gilt symbolic jewel
The jewel is dated 5766, which means that it was made in 1762, and being gold it is not unsurprising that it is smaller than examples seen in silver or gilt (above). If anyone has come across another example in gold I would be very pleased to hear about it. It has been given the catalogue numberTH11c.
The Emulation Lodge of Improvement was formed in October1823, and is the second oldest Lodge of Improvement in theworld, after Stability Lodge of Improvement which was formed in 1819.
When a jewel for the Emulation Lodge of Improvement Festival,dated 1902, turned up I contacted their Secretary, who told me that they were totally unaware that they had held a festival in1902, or that a jewel had been produced for the occasion.
The jewel was apparently sold at the festival to raise moneyfor charity. The next thing I knew, their Secretary emailed me and said the jewel was an Emulation Lodge of Improvement jewel and they wanted it back!
I think my reply was something on the lines that if they wantedto keep their jewels, it was surprising they sold them in the first place! The jewel has the catalogue number of TH220A.
I Never Noticed That!
The famous Country Steward’s Lodge jewel, Cat. No. TH403, had a crack in the die when it was manufactured. Almost certainly the crack was noticed before the jewel went into production. However, as the crack was reasonably small, they still used the die rather than incur the quite considerable cost of producing a new die.
Above- The Country Stewards Lodge No. 540 Members Jewel with its die crack flaw on the obverse just to the right of “BY”.
Many were heroes!
The 1918 World War One Service Medal from Lodge Progress No. 967, Dundee Scotland. This bronze medal was presented to members who served in the armed forces during World War 1. The lodge was formed in 1904. Cat. No. TH229A.
This particular medal was presented to Pt. Robert (Bob) Niven service No. 40621, a farmer who lived near Blairgowrie in Scotland. He served with the Lancashire Fusiliers, and lost an eye at the Battle of Passchendaele. Despite being wounded on three separate occasions, he survived the war and lived until 1968.
I hope you have found reading this newsletter interesting. If you have a medal or jewel you would like to see illustrated in a future edition of this Newsletter, please email a scan with as much information as possible to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Collecting Masonic Medals is truly a fascinating hobby.