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June 2019

A Past Master's Jewel from London

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Past Master’s Jewel Made for Robert Scholl, 1819-1820. Probably London, England.  Museum Purchase, 97.025.1.  Photograph by David Bohl.

Last month we posted about a Past Master’s jewel in a style that was distinct to the Boston area.  In the past, we’ve talked about examples of a popular style of Past Master’s jewel that was widespread in New England in the early 1800s. Made around the same time as these jewels--but in a entirely different style--is this jewel (at left), crafted for London Freemason Robert Scholl (ca. 1781-1832).

Listed as a gentlemen in membership records, Scholl worked as a Navy agent, with chambers at Clement’s Inn, in the early 1830s.  He was initiated at the Lodge of Union No. 275 in 1814 and served as Master of his lodge before 1820.  

To thank him for his service in that role, Scholl’s brethren at the Lodge of Union commissioned this gold and enamel jewel.  They had Scholl’s jewel inscribed with a heartfelt message (see below), noting that the elegant badge was, “...a testimony of their fraternal Regard — their Personal attachment and the Sense entertained by them of his exertions for the Benefit of the Lodge.”  Scholl’s jewel is like a watch or locket in that the decoration on the front is protected by a glass bezel.  The bezel covers elements cut from gold in the shape of a square and compasses and a sun. A border of leaves, likely laurel, surrounds the symbols.  All of the gold elements are detailed with engraving to give them depth and definition. The symbols appear to float over a background patterned by machine turning and enameled dark blue.  The deep color contrasts with the bright gold symbols.  An engraver added the inscription on the back of the jewel.  Using the pin on the back, Scholl would have worn this jewel on his coat.  

What extraordinary service Scholl may have undertaken for his lodge is not known, but this handsome jewel suggests how highly this brothers at the Lodge of Union valued his contributions.   

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Inscripton on the back of a Past Master’s Jewel Made for Robert Scholl, 1819-1820. Probably London, England.  Museum Purchase, 97.025.1.  Photograph by David Bohl.

 

 

References:

Lane’s Masonic Records, version 1.0. (www.hrionline.ac.uk/lanes, October 2011), Published by HRI Online Publications, ISBN 978-0-955-7876-8-3.

Library and Museum of Freemasonry; London, England. “Freemasonry Membership Registers 1751-1921,” “Register of Admissions: London, B, #275-648.” “Robert Scholl,” Folios 1 and 2, ancestry.com. 

Robson’s London Commercial Directory for 1830, (London, England: Robson, Blades & Co.), Part II, Commercial Directory, SHE-SHU, n.p.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


A Celebration of the Role of DeMolay International in the Lives of Young Men

In celebration of DeMolay International’s one hundredth anniversary, the staff of the Scottish Rite Masonic Museum & Library would like to congratulate the Order and recognize its commitment to shape young men of all nationalities into “leaders of character.” In this week’s post, we highlight this festive 1937 Halloween costume dance invitation addressed to Robert G. Milliken of Denver, Colorado.

A2019_008_001DS1Denver Chapter Halloween costume dance
invitation (obverse)
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Denver Chapter Halloween costume dance
invitation (reverse)
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While little information has been discovered regarding the costume dance held at Denver’s Scottish Rite Temple, Milliken’s 2011 obituary details a life that exemplifies the seven cardinal virtues or the "basis of good character" taught by the Order.

If you happen to be in the metro Boston area over the summer, please consult our website for more information regarding the museum's current exhibitions, including the Library’s new exhibit that celebrates DeMolay’s storied history.

 


Captions

Denver Chapter Halloween costume dance invitation, 1937 October 29. Collection of the Scottish Rite Masonic Museum and Library, MA 014.


The DeMolay Centennial Anniversary

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Crown of Youth, 1953. Mac & Jack, Saugus, Massachusetts. Gift of Middlesex Chapter, Order of DeMolay, Reading, Massachusetts, 2000.034.3.

One hundred years ago, Freemason Frank S. Land (1890-1959) founded the Order of DeMolay in 1919 in Kansas City, Missouri, at the age of 28. After the initial formation of the youth club, Land and other early members named the group after Jacques DeMolay (1243-1314) and met regularly at the Kansas City Masonic Temple. The Order was open to young men aged 16 to 21.The success and popularity of the original DeMolay group spurred members to set up chapters across the country.

When Land died in 1959, there were 135,000 DeMolay members and 2,097 chapters in 14 countries. Local chapters were and still are sponsored by a Masonic organization. Several objects related to DeMolay history will be on display at the Museum & Library through December 2019 as the organization celebrates its centennial anniversary in more than 15 countries worldwide.

One object on view includes a “Crown of Youth” from Middlesex Chapter in Reading, Massachusetts (at left). In 1953, the Mother’s Club for the Middlesex Chapter in Reading presented the crown to the chapter to commemorate their 30th anniversary. A plaque was later added in memory of “Dad” Herbert K. Miller.

Another object in the collection, a recently donated 1964 panoramic photograph, shows over one hundred DeMolay members and advisers at a Colorado DeMolay leadership camp outside Estes Park, Colorado. The first DeMolay National Leader's Training Camp was held at Bear Lake Lodge, Colorado, in 1924. 

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DeMolay Leadership Camp, 1964. Larson Photography Studio, Estes Park, Colorado. Gift of of David A. Glattly, 2017.021.1.

1964 New Jersey Past State Master Councilor Thomas C. Richard gave this photograph to current Sovereign Grand Commander, David Glattly, who then donated it to the Museum.

Visit the Museum & Library to see more DeMolay items from the collection! Do you or a family member have photographs or items related to DeMolay? We want to hear from you. Leave a comment in the section below.