Royal Arch Mason Jewel

Belonging to Worshipful Brother General Israel Putnam

Probably New England, 1775-1800
Silver
John W. and Christiana G.P. Batdorf Fund, 2015.35


Introduced into the American colonies around 1730, Freemasonry achieved great popularity after the American Revolution. Enthusiasm for this fraternal society grew alongside interest in the intellectual movement known as the Enlightenment and new theories on equality. Jewelry as well as other regalia played an important role in Masonic rituals and ceremonies. The symbols engraved on this medal are primarily drawn from the manual tools of stonemasons, such as the square and compass, the level and plumb rule, and the trowel. This medal also makes use of the pigpen or Masonic cipher, a simple geometric substitution code, which replaces each letter of the alphabet with a different symbol. The inscriptions translate as “I AM WHAT I AM” (1 Corinthians 15:10), and “LET THERE BE LIGHT AND THERE WAS LIGHT” (Genesis 1:3). This silver medal descended in the Putnam family of Connecticut and may have been owned by General Israel Putnam (1718-1790) of Pomfret.

Reposted from:

 Historic Deerfield
PO Box 321
84B Old Main Street
Deerfield, MA 01342
413-774-5581

http://www.historic-deerfield.org/discover-deerfield/collections/recent-acquisitions/

 

 

 

                  

               

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