Silver Keystone from

Western Sun Chapter No. 67 R.A.M. New York

 The Mark medal is a sacred token of the rites of friendship and brotherly love which are a solemn obligation of the Mark Master degree. The Mark medal may be pledged for a favor or act of friendship, but must be redeemed before it may be pledged again. Unlike lodge jewels, which were symbols of office, Mark medals were personal possessions retained by Masons, and [they] did not appear in American Masonic usage until about 1795. The Mark medal was worn suspended from the neck by a yellow ribbon, at one time the distinctive color of the Mark degree.  This piece came with a drop down ladder fob that looks similar to an officers collar chain.  The medal was usually made of coin silver or silver plate, although rare examples of gilt copper and even gold are known.  On one side was engraved a personal design, or 'mark,' that identified the owner. The reverse side usually bears the owner's name, the name of his Mark lodge, and the date of his exaltation to the degree."

The Keystone was placed in the center of an arch which preserves the others in their places, and secures firmness and stability to the arch.  As it was formerly the custom of Operative Masons to place a peculiar mark on each stone of a building to designate the workman by whom it had been adjusted, so the Keystone was most-likely to receive the most prominent mark, that of the Superintendent of the structure.  Such is related to have occurred to that Keystone which plats so important a part in the legend of the Royal Arch Degree.  The objection has sometimes been made, that the arch was unknown in the time of Solomon.  But this objection has been completely laid to rest by the researches of antiquaries and travelers within a few years past.  Wilkinson discovered arches with regular keystones in the doorways of the tombs of Thebes, the construction of which he traced to the year 1540 B.C., or 460 years before the building of the Temple of Solomon.  And Doctor Clard asserts that the Cyclopean gallery of Tiryns exhibits lancet-shaped arches almost as old as the time of Abraham.  In fact, in the Solomonic era, the construction of the arch must have been known to the Dionysian Articifers, of whom, it is a freely received theory, many were present at the building of the Temple.

A special "Thank You" to Wor. Bro. Paul McEvoy of Goulburn Menturia Lodge 3478, England which meets in Bolton in Lancashire UK  www.gmlodge3478.co.uk  Wor. Bro. Paul also does a bit of trading on eBay under the name paulmcevoy1 

We Thank him for sharing this beautiful Keystone from his private collection with our museum!

 

 

                  

               

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