Drill Performance Trophies of
St. Bernard Commandery No. 35
at Triennial Conclaves of the Grand Encampment
This ornate, 76 cm (30 inch) tall trophy,
crafted by San Francisco's famous George C. Shreve & Co. jewelers, was awarded
to St. Bernard Commandery No. 35 for their third place
at the Grand
Triennial Conclave in 1883 at San Francisco.
The competition was held in Golden Gate Park.
The trophy includes a revolving silver globe, 25.4 cm (10 inch) in diameter,
upon which are traced the borders of the American states, with California - the
"Golden State" - inlaid in solid gold. Atop the globe is an armoured
knight, his sword drawn. Standing 20.3 cm (8 in.) tall, the knight is and made
of pure gold and silver.
On the base are many beautiful devices. To the viewer’s right is an olde-tyme
castle, built of solid blocks of silver and polished gold-bearing quartz from
California. Opposite the castle stand three Christian pilgrim warriors’ tents,
and in the front, three of our ancient fratres leading a crusade to the
Sancta, the “Holy Land” to redeem the tomb of our Saviour from the power of
the infidels and to relieve the brethren from oppression, tyranny and wrong.
Between the tents and the castle stands the banner of our order,
flanked by two
beaucéants. The tents, beaucéants, banner, and
templar armour are fashioned from silver.
The base supporting the whole is of bronze and silver. The medallion in the
centre contains an engraving of three leaders of the First Crusade, on
horseback. The medallion to the viewer’s left depicts the emblem of the
Illustrious Order of the Red Cross within a seven-pointed star. The medallion
opposite depicts the emblem of the Order of Malta
within a nine-pointed star. The two emblems
are crafted of gold-bearing quartz and ore specimens. The base is guarded by two
of silver; the California grizzly bear
is the State Animal of California and is depicted on the state flag.
The photograph to the left shows the trophy in 1986
when we lent it to the Oakland Museum
for their exhibition, "Silver in the Golden State" The image was taken by
Stephen Rahn for the companion book to the exhibition, Leslie Greene Bowman &
Edgar W. Morse's Silver in the Golden State: images and essays celebrating
the history and art of silver in California, Oakland, California: Oakland
Museum History Dept. (1986).
silverplate tea service kettle, standing nearly two feet tall, was awarded
to St. Bernard Commandery's drill corps for its competition performance at the
annual conclave of the Grand Commandery of Illinois on 12 July 1889.
A description from one of its
Kettle on stand. Rope twist
handle. The finial is pierced acanthus leaf. Scalloped flared rim surround.
Pierced cradle with acanthus, flower, rosette, etc. motives. Round base fitted
with two standards for creamer and sugar. On the body of the kettle is Academic
Victorian bright cut and other floral decoration. Engraved on the side "St.
Bernard Drill Corps / July 12th, 1889". White ceramic lining to the kettle.
"Rogers Smith & Sons / Meriden Co. Quadruple" and "at'd June 13, 1868 / Pat'd
Nov. 3rd, 1868 / 84". 20-1/2" overall height.
brick was awarded to St. Bernard
Commandery as the first place trophy for the triennial conclave’s 10 August 1892
drill competition at Denver.
The trophy contains 470.5 ounces
of silver from the mines of Colorado, handsomely engraved and showing Mount of
the Holy Cross and other mountain scenery in bas-relief.
The mountain was also featured
on postcards of the 1913 Triennial in Denver.
bowl (including serving tray, cups and
antler ladle) was awarded to St. Bernard Commandery as the first place trophy
for the 29th triennial conclave’s drill competition at San Francisco in 1904.
The punch bowl, serving tray,
and cups are crafted by San Francisco jewellers Hammersmith & Field, from of
hand-beaten copper, and the bowl and cups are lined in gold. The set is
ornamented with North American Indian arrow-heads, silver shields, spears,
war-hammers, targets, scalps, and other aboriginal trappings bound in place with
This punch bowl and ladle was
awarded to St. Bernard Commandery as the first place trophy for the 30th
triennial conclave’s 10 July 1907 drill competition at Saratoga Springs, New
This trophy was
awarded to St. Bernard Commandery as the fifth place prize for the 35th
triennial conclave’s 26 April 1922 drill competition at New Orleans, Louisiana.
Cast of sterling silver by Reed
& Barton, the trophy features a bowl supported by a column, the capital of which
is a composite of three prominent ionic scrolls above a simplified Corinthian
relief. A trio of palm trees ring the column and provide further structure under
Two of the bowl's sides are engraved
with scenes representative of Louisiana: a pair of orange growers picking their
crop from a large tree, and a field of oil wells. The third side reads:
35th Triennial Conclave
United States of America
New Orleans La.
April 25-26-27 1922
The base was engraved by the
commandery, with the names of the fratres in the victorious drill corps who took
the field that day:
B.L. Purinton, Capt.; N.J.
Kissick, 1st Lt.; A.W. Rathbun, 2nd Lt.; R.A. Connell, 1st Sgt.; E.A. Dorner,
2nd Sgt.; D.A. Smalley, 3rd Sgt.; R.A. Bechstrin, 4th Sgt; V. I. Chinlumd, J.B.
Eckstedt, J.H. Brothersen, W.A. Harders, H. M. Lehman, D.B. Hutchinson, V.H.W.C.
Martin, G.M. Rhode, G.R. Buck, S.R. Benner, Lee W. Peterson, W.M. Swatek, A.E.
Rathbun, R.R. Harders, M.D. Smith, C.F. Thorssell, C.L. Studders, R.L. Meyer,
H.T. Bowers, M.E. Fuller, J.C. Lind, F.W. Ladenburger, S.C. Sheppard, F.
of the items above have been placed with Sotheby's for auction! You can
read more about these fabulous pieces at the link below: