Scottish Rite & York Rite FOB Collection

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This magnificent 18K gold Masonic Watch FOB belonged to a 32nd Degree/York Rite Mason.  It opens to reveal several sections, all with detailed enameling and engraving. One section, the back of the Double Headed Eagle, says Phil'a Consistory S.P.R.S. Jan. 19, 1912 Joppa Council No. 46 R & S.M.M. On the other side of the cross it says Com'D Y. No.88 K.T June 28, 13.  On the next side, it is engraved C. Rodney Jefferies Ent. Feb 7,1910 West Chester Lodge No. 322. Then on the side with the Cross &Crown it says Howell Mkd Mch 13, 1911 R.A.C. 202 Centennial Cmdry 55.  It is in absolute mint condition and measures 1 1/2 inch by 1 1/8 inch and weighs 28.9 grams. It tests 18kt gold.

History of Enameling

The use of vitreous enamel coatings on Masonic watch FOBs began to appear later in the nineteenth century.  Vitreous or “glass-like” enamels consist of finely ground minerals, usually including quartz, suspended in a viscous liquid that allows the enamel to be applied to the surface with a brush.  Various metallic oxides create the colors, and other oxides are added to make the colors opaque.  When properly heated in a kiln, these substances fuse into a hard, glassy coating.  Enameling is ages old but translucency was only fully achieved in the nineteenth century.  The metal surface beneath the translucent enamel could be artfully varied by machining, carving or foiling to suggest depth, or to add an interesting pattern or reflectivity.  If machined in symmetrical designs the patterning is called guilloché.  If the surface was simply routed out the result was called basse-taille.  If small, individual voids were created and filled with opaque enamels, it was termed champlevé.  If the enamel colors were separated by fine soldered wires, and flush polished, it was called cloissoné.  However, the most common form of fired enamel on Masonic watch FOBs was direct painting with opaque colors.  This enameling technique most closely approximates traditional oil painting and yields the most life-like images.  Examples of the five enameling methods can be found among the pieces described in this article. 

Below is a fine collection of York & Scottish Rite Watch FOB's

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