Bejewelled: Diverse Identities

Freemasons call their badges 'jewels'. In this exhibit we look at the different ways a jewel can show individual and national identity.

Museum of Freemasonry

Victory Lodge, Steward jewel (1950)Museum of Freemasonry

Women freemasons

There are Grand Lodges in the UK and all around the world for women. They are no different to the men's lodges in what they do, though their regalia does differ slightly.

Women freemasons

Victory Lodge, No. 21, was formed under the women's Grand Lodge of Honourable Fraternity of Ancient Freemasons based in the UK. This is a Steward's jewel from 1950.

Lilith Lodge, collar jewel (2012)Museum of Freemasonry

Women freemasons

This modern collar jewel from Lilith Lodge, No. 24, comes from Women's Grand Lodge of Germany - Zur Humanität (To Humanity).

The Free Spirit, collar jewel (1995)Museum of Freemasonry

Women freemasons

The collar jewels from Women's Grand Lodge of Germany - Zur Humanität (To Humanity) feature many 'New Age' symbols as well as those traditionally associated with freemasonry.

Four Elements in the Light , collar jewel (2001)Museum of Freemasonry

Women freemasons

The collar jewels from Women's Grand Lodge of Germany - Zur Humanität (To Humanity) feature many 'New Age' symbols as well as those traditionally associated with freemasonry.

Dilo Lodge, member jewel (1920) by Alphonse MuchaMuseum of Freemasonry

Alphonse Mucha and Czechoslovakia

Czech artist Alphonse Mucha is best known for his Art Nouveau posters of Parisian plays during the early 20th century. He helped restore Czech freemasonry and designed jewels among many other items. This jewel for Dilo Lodge dates from 1920.

Jan Amos Komensky (Comenius) Lodge, member jewel (1919)Museum of Freemasonry

Alphonse Mucha and Czechoslovakia

This jewel for Jan Amos Komensky (Comenius) Lodge from 1919 demonstrates Mucha's renowned motifs from the Art Nouveau style.

Poster for the rolling paper manufactuer "Job" (1897) by Alphonse MuchaKunstbibliothek, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin

Alphonse Mucha and Czechoslovakia

Spot the similarities with one of his graphic posters from the same period.

Josef Dobrovsky Lodge, member jewel (1922)Museum of Freemasonry

Alphonse Mucha and Czechoslovakia

Mucha remained a proud freemason until his death in 1939. This followed a long interrogation at the hands of the occupying German army in Prague during the Second World War.

Zu den 3 Turmen - Rothenburg, member jewel (1947)Museum of Freemasonry

Germany after the war

Freemasonry was popular in Germany but banned by the Third Reich during the Second World War.

Worms, member jewel (1948)Museum of Freemasonry

Germany after the war

After the war materials were hard to come by. So freemasons made standard pattern ceramic jewels.

Friedrich zur Frankentreue Or. Kulmbach, member jewel (1947)Museum of Freemasonry

Germany after the war

Freemasons hand-painted the ceramic jewels with their individual lodge identities.

International appeal

After freemasonry became organised in 1717 with the formation of the first Grand Lodge in London, it gradually spread across the globe. Let's look at some international jewels.

Many belong to countries like America where freemasonry thrives. Some belong to countries that no longer exist, like Yugoslavia. Several belong to countries like China and Iran where freemasonry has been banned in modern times. A few remain a mystery even to us. Can you tell where any of these jewels come from?

Svenska Stora landslogen, member jewel, 1880, From the collection of: Museum of Freemasonry
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Lodge Lux Orientis, Founder jewel, 1933, From the collection of: Museum of Freemasonry
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Kultur Istanbul, member jewel, 1970, From the collection of: Museum of Freemasonry
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Jerusalem Lodge, Founder jewel, 1953, From the collection of: Museum of Freemasonry
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Bombay Lodge, Past Master jewel, 1934, From the collection of: Museum of Freemasonry
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Gymkhana Lodge Bombay, Founder Scretary jewel, 1917, From the collection of: Museum of Freemasonry
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Lodge Les Amis Sincères, Founder jewel, 1970, From the collection of: Museum of Freemasonry
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Lodge St Amadour GLNF, member jewel, 2010, From the collection of: Museum of Freemasonry
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Lodge Hermannus van Tongeren, Founder jewel, 1956, From the collection of: Museum of Freemasonry
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Lodge of the West Indies, Founder jewel, 1991, From the collection of: Museum of Freemasonry
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Chesapeake Commandery, From the collection of: Museum of Freemasonry
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Anglo American Lodge, Founder jewel, 1886, From the collection of: Museum of Freemasonry
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Unknown member jewel, From the collection of: Museum of Freemasonry
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Founder jewel for Roma Lodge, Founder jewel, 1921, From the collection of: Museum of Freemasonry
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Grand Lodge of Chile, Grand Officer jewel, From the collection of: Museum of Freemasonry
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Goethe Zum Tale Des Friedens Or. Marienbad, member jewel, 1925, From the collection of: Museum of Freemasonry
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Bernard Bolzano, member jewel, From the collection of: Museum of Freemasonry
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Unknown member jewel, From the collection of: Museum of Freemasonry
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Garant d'Amitie, Founder jewel, 1919, From the collection of: Museum of Freemasonry
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Unknown commemoratie jewel, From the collection of: Museum of Freemasonry
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United Service Lodge of Alexandria, Founder jewel, 1923, From the collection of: Museum of Freemasonry
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Grand Lodge of Iran, Grand officer jewel, 1969/1979, From the collection of: Museum of Freemasonry
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Commemorating Emile H. Ouaknine as Grand Master, commemorative jewel, 2000, From the collection of: Museum of Freemasonry
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National Grand Lodge of Egypt and Arab Countries, Grand Officer jewel, From the collection of: Museum of Freemasonry
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