A number of Royal Arch Chapters boast special RA members’ jewels. These are broadly divided into three categories. Those with adornment of the jewel itself, such as Chapters No 2 and No 259, those with embellishment of the lower bar from which the jewel is suspended, such as our Chapter of Felicity No 58, and those with additional motifs attached to the middle bar, such as the Grand Master’s Chapter No 1, which are more numerous.
The first category, whose members’ jewels are unique designs, is best illustrated by some very illustrious Chapters.
The Chapter of St James No 2
The Chapter of St James No 2 jewel is shown on the left this pair, the photograph being courtesy of the Province of Northamptonshire & Huntingdonshire (with an explanation of its provenance and history) and thanks due to Oliver Lodge, whose left breast is behind these fine examples. The traditional jewel design is surmounted by a Royal Ducal coronet (that of the Duke of Sussex) that No 2 shares with the Lodge of Antiquity No 2:
The Prince of Wales’s Chapter No 259
In common with the Prince of Wales’s Lodge No 259, the Chapter that shares the name and number also shares its penchant for the famous plumes as an adornment to much of its regalia:
The second category covers those with embellishment of the lower bar from which the traditional design of jewel is suspended, such as our Chapter:
The third category of mid-ribbon embellishment is typified by two Chapters, one for each of the commonly found variations.
Grand Masters Chapter No 1
The first jewel from Grand Master’s Chapter No 1 (courtesy of the Library & Museum of Freemasonry) shows the displacement of the central bar for an embellished decoration:
This second jewel from the Chapter of Union No 310 (Courtesy of the Museum & Library of Freemasonry) shows an additional embellishment, most commonly an anniversary bar, in addition to the three normal bars:
There is an entirely larger and more ornate world of PZ and Founders jewels with a wide range of design and ornament that exist, which however are not to be worn outside a more restricted environment, normally the relevant Chapter itself. There are also a range of accepted designs of the jewel itself: There large delicate examples, especially some of the later Georgian and early Victorian examples by Harper and Acklam. There are small ornate and bejewelled Victorian examples, often with in watchcase forms. Again, these are beyond the scope of this page, other than to marvel at the craftsmanship:
1830s Acklam members’ jewel
(Courtesy of Masonic Medals)
A rare Crimson and Blue official George Kenning enamel Watchcase jewel
(Courtesy of Masonic Medals)
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