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    Books on Masonic jewels


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    Dear all

    Besides my interest in jewels, I am a certified bibliophile, resulting in my pathetically grabbing any books that I can that may help educate me about Masonic jewels.

    As most of you know, there are precious few books on the subject and the majority of those that exist are usually from before the last war (1939). Besides the Grand Lodge yearbooks which help me see when a Lodge started, where it met and sadly, when, if it was erased, there is also a free electronic version of Lane's Masonic Records on-line at the website of the University of Sheffield (Lane's Masonic Record); they also maintain a similar list for the Lodges of the Grand Lodge of Scotland (Draffen's Scottish Masonic Records 1736-1950).

    I have listed those books which I have found helpful and hope that you will tell me of any others I may have overlooked.

    (In no particular order)

    1. Heathcote DJ. 1999. The Festivals 1900-1985 Stewards jewels of the Royal Masonic Institution for Boys. Meridian Publishing. ISBN 0952646412.

    Photographs all the Stewards jewels for this Institution, other data including numbers awarded, charitable sums raised, etc. Also include concise history of the RMIB. This is a companion volume to number 2, below.

    2. Heathcote DJ. 1995. The Festivals 1900-1985 Stewards jewels of the Royal Masonic Institution for Girls. Meridian Publishing. ISBN 0952646404.

    Similar to number 1, but for the RMIG.

    3. Jackman W. circa 2000. Masonic Memorabilia for Collectors. Gemini Publications Ltd. ISBN 0953063720.

    Many photographs of jewels, some of them very rare. I have issues about some of the text, especially the suggested pricing of many artefacts, but the book is worth having just for the photos of the rare jewels.

    4. Dennis VS. 2005. Discovering friendly and Fraternal Societies: their badges and regalia. Shire Publications Ltd. ISBN 0747806284.

    Absolutely wonderful book that deals with many of the Friendly and Fraternal societies that existed around the end of the 19th Century, but by no means dealing exclusively with Freemasonry. Unparalleled photographs of many rare artefacts from the vaults of the Museum Of Freemasonry in London. Authoratively written, nice book to read and so many rare items pictured.... gorgeous! Was top of my list for Santa last year.

    I think that covers all of the more recent books, but I remain happy to be corrected by anyone who has a few that I may have missed.

    If of any interest, I will post a list of the older (and sadly, rarer) books to which I sometimes refer.

    Kind regards


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    An interesting book that gives a lot of history behind the names and formation of Lodges and Chapters, as well as background info' is : 'Serendipity' - by Harry Mendoza.

    Don't know if I'm allowed to add a link but www.thefreemason.com not only has a bookshop; but also an excellent chat Forum on both Masonic and non- Masonic matters.

    S+F Patterdale.


    Link added, feel free to add any appropriate links...K

    Edited by Kgard
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    An interesting book that gives a lot of history behind the names and formation of Lodges and Chapters, as well as background info' is : 'Serendipity' - by Harry Mendoza.

    Well done, Patterdale, don't know how I managed to forget that one!

    Although there is a lot of information in 'Serendipity', I have seldom managed to find references in there to jewels in which I am interested. It must have taken a lot of work to put together, but (IMHO) it is a long way from being comprehensive.

    Some of the older texts I find useful and to which I alluded in my original post:

    Poole, Rev. Herbert. 1939. A catalogue of Masonic Medals in the Museum of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Worcestershire. Library and Museum committee, Worcester. A detailed list of over 1,000 medals, jewels and tokens in the museum. A standard work which should be readily available to all collectors of Masonic medals. Well organised by country and then chronologically, but no index.

    Shackles, GL. 1901. The Medals (Commemorative or Historical) of British Freemasonry. Jointly published by: The Hamburgische Zirkel-Correspondenz (or Literary Committee of the Grand Lodge of Hamburg) and The Quatuor Coronati Lodge No. 2076, London. Probably the first British publication with 12 plates and 175 illustrations, but much of it is contained within Poole's book.

    Hammond, W. 1917. Masonic Emblems and Jewels: treasures at Freemasons' Hall, London. George Philip and Son Ltd., London.. Nice little book by WBro Dr W Hammond FSA, the Librarian at Grand Lodge, with 18 coloured plates and 42 B/W. Some real gems in there, but barely touches on the treasures that the vaults must have contained, even then.

    Marvin, WTR. 1880. The Medals of the Masonic Fraternity described and illustrated. Privately published by the author in Boston, USA, and limited to 160 copies. The definitive work for collectors of Masonic medals, to which a supplement was produced afterwards. Over 700 medals are described in great detail, many of them having Continental origins. Still by far the best and most comprehensive listing. Several indices, including by legend, subject depicted, issuing Lodge and engraver. Quite an overlap with Poole but, when conjoined (and with the supplement), they form the best listing.

    Lane, J. 1891. Centenary Warrants and Jewels. George Kenning, London. Wonderful tome by a very emminent Masonic scholar that sets out to record the 'pre-regulation' centenary jewels struck for Lodges whose centenary was celebrated prior to the introduction of the regulation-pattern centenary jewel, first seen in 1867. Although it claims to be exhaustive, there are one or two that are not included.

    Neither is this list exhaustive! There may be one or two of which I know but accidentally omitted, but I am sure that there are quite a few out there which I have yet to come across - please be generous and share them with me!

    Just a post-script: as these are all out of print, and probably were never produced in great numbers initially, do not expect them to be cheap! When the books are rarely available for sale, I have seen them in the following price ranges:

    Poole (scarce) ?40 - ?100

    Shackles (rare) ?60+

    Hammond (uncommon) ?15 - ?50

    Marvin (very rare) ?1,000+ (with or without supplement)

    Lane (scarce) ?30 - ?100

    Kind regards


    Further post-script: where this post refer to 'medals', it generally means those coin-like commemorative pieces which were never meant to be worn, rather than personal 'jewels' which obviously may be worn. The term however, is taken to have different meanings by different authors.

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