Unidentified maker, London, 1810 - Masonic collar jewel

PHOTOS REQUIRED - marks + item
BLWharton
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Unidentified maker, London, 1810 - Masonic collar jewel

Postby BLWharton » Wed Sep 19, 2018 1:26 am

Hello all,

Benjamin here from Sydney, Australia. I am currently working on the history of my Lodge and part of that is studying the relics that have been passed down. One of which leads me here to this forum. It is the collar jewel of the Secretary of a Lodge. It is sterling silver with hallmark of London, 1810, however, the maker I cannot find. It is a lovely piece and I have not found any comparable examples. The ribbon is the main feature that separates it from usual jewels of this kind. Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.

Kind regards,
Benjamin Wharton
Sydney, Australia

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silvermakersmarks
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Re: Unidentified maker, London, 1810 - Masonic collar jewel

Postby silvermakersmarks » Wed Sep 19, 2018 2:40 am

Hi Benjamin and welcome to the forum. We look forward to seeing any more of your relics which we may be able to help with.

You will notice that your post has been moved from "London Hallmarks" to "Provincial and Colonial". This is because the mark is not a London hallmark and it does not date from 1810. The mark is an example of what are called "pseudo-marks" - marks which on first glance look like a hallmark but on further inspection are imitations, and sometimes, as here, crude imitations. We often see them on North American or Chinese silver but I am unable to identify the maker. No doubt somebody will be able to help - watch this space.

Phil

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Re: Unidentified maker, London, 1810 - Masonic collar jewel

Postby dognose » Wed Sep 19, 2018 4:45 am

Hi Benjamin,

Welcome to the Forum.

It is a jewel in more than one sense of the word, likely the work of an early Australian silversmith.

One possibility is James Finlay, but it would be great if this was the work of the highly talented Joseph Forrester, with the 'P' being a nod to his old home town of Perth in Scotland.

Hopefully another member can tell us more.

Trev.

BLWharton
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Re: Unidentified maker, London, 1810 - Masonic collar jewel

Postby BLWharton » Wed Sep 19, 2018 11:10 pm

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!

Kind regards,
Benjamin Wharton
Sydney, Australia

BLWharton
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Re: Unidentified maker, London, 1810 - Masonic collar jewel

Postby BLWharton » Wed Sep 19, 2018 11:43 pm

In addition to my most recent reply regarding the mention of watchmaker 'John Forrester,' I found in the minutes of our Lodge St John's day December 1850 the presentation of a Past Master's Jewel followed by an account be paid to John Forrester of 3 pounds 3 shillings. This account would have been most likely for the past master's jewel. I think we have a winner here.

Kind regards,
Benjamin Wharton
Sydney, Australia

dognose
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Re: Unidentified maker, London, 1810 - Masonic collar jewel

Postby dognose » Thu Sep 20, 2018 7:26 am

Hi Benjamin,

It looks like you're nailed your man:

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John Forrester - Sydney - 1864

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Forrester & Co. - Sydney - 1869

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Forrester & Co.- Sydney - 1870

The last two advertisements clearly state that his firm manufactured jewellery.

Trev.

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Re: Unidentified maker, London, 1810 - Masonic collar jewel

Postby dognose » Thu Sep 20, 2018 7:51 am

Hi Benjamin,

You asked about the giveaway signs of the pseudo marks, It's just like anything else really, when you've seen thousands and thousands of them, the wrong'uns usually stick out like a sore thumb. It's not always the case, some are much better than others, but with this example it was pretty clear and I'm delighted that it was a pseudo, for this one was far more interesting (to me) than if it had been a London example.

Regarding the other pieces, yes, we'll be delighted to see them, plated or silver, and help identify them if we can. Please start a new topic with each item to save any confusion.

Trev.


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