Hi Phil and Trev,
Thank you for your welcome and your replies - very interesting! At first disappointed it was not as I thought regarding London 1810, however, to be of a more local manufacture is more interesting to the story of our early Lodge.
I have not made a website yet about our history but have published two books and a third on its way next month. We were founded in 1843 in Sydney under dispensation of the Grand Lodge of Ireland, later receiving warrant No. 267. Our lineage is that we were founded by members of the suspended Lodge No. 260 (which we later revived in 1846). Lodge No. 260 was founded in 1820 by Lodge No. 218 attached to the 48th Regiment, however, the members of Lodge No. 260 were mostly influenced by Lodge No. 227 attached to the 46th Regiment when they were stationed in Sydney for a duration of three years.
Regarding James Finlay and Joseph Forrester, thank you for their names, in only a short research session I have done this morning they appear to mostly active down in Victoria not Sydney. I haven't been able to connect a Masonic association to them as of yet either. Is there somewhere I would be able to find out more about them and possibly see an example of their marks? I noticed James Finlay advertises himself as a watchmaker. This is very interesting as at the founding of our Lodge a Brother was present named 'John Forrester' who was a watchmaker from St James Square, London where he was the Foreman to Sigismund Rentzsch, watchmaker to Queen Victoria and the Royal Family. Could he perhaps be the maker of this lovely piece?
What were the give-away signs that it was not London? I noticed that the leopard's face looked more like a human or monkey, and the King's head like a flat diamond, but I thought the years of wearing the jewel on the collar would have rubbed away the detail making it look that way. Interestingly, the ‘leopard face’ mark on this jewel is very similar to a face drawn by John Forrester on one of his watch paper inserts.
Regarding the other pieces, one is an electroplated nickel silver piece. It is a Grand Steward’s Collar Jewel, however, it exhibits hand-push engraving decoration that is more akin to earlier styles than EPNS. The marks I have not been able to identify next to the [ENPS] is [WBs] [S] which I thought was perhaps W(name) Brothers, Sheffield? Also stamped about half an inch away is the number 75.
Two main items of interest are two other officer’s collar jewels of the Senior and Junior Warden: a level and a plum rule respectively. They appear to be of a much earlier provenance in style of manufacture with comparative examples being from regiment lodges of the late-18th to early-19th centuries. Given our lineage to the regiment lodges of Ireland it is not impossible. In the history of Lodge Antiquity No. 1 in Canada which was formerly the 46th Regiment I wrote about earlier is a paragraph about some of its early relics stating: “The Lodge has in its archives a few of the old jewels, some of tin, very crude in workmanship” along with a trowel dating 1819. Another example is an online article called “A Curious Masonic Find” which show images of very similar looking jewels from Lodge No. 995 of the 8th Garrison Battalion.
Regarding hand engraved work, I also have in the Lodge’s collection a hand engraved square, not sure of the material at this stage, however, the numerals that are engraved on it appear early in style as well.
If you would like to see pictures of these I would be more than happy to show you, I just did not want to make a post of them as they are not silver.
Once again thank you for your assistance; the search goes on and becomes more fascinating along the way!