As part of the celebrations of 25 years of Heritage Open Days, England’s largest festival of history and culture, Leicestershire and Rutland Freemasons were invited to supply curiosities from their extensive museum at Freemasons’ Hall in Leicester to form part of a ‘Cabinet of Curiosities’ at their birthday party in London
The event was held at the exquisite Two Temple Place in London which is one of London’s architectural gems, an extraordinary late Victorian mansion built by William Waldorf Astor on the Embankment.
The items on display were a jelly mould emblazoned with a square and compasses and a set of light bulbs with the square and compasses as filaments. The jelly mould is an interesting relic of days gone by. One of the most enjoyable features of a night at the Masonic Lodge is to sit together with your fellow members and enjoy a good meal after the ceremony.
This jelly mould would enable the members to have a very interesting (and no doubt tasty) jelly put before them for their dessert with the various symbols so familiar to them adorning its surface. It is likely that this mould came from the latter half of the 19th century.
The Masonic light bulbs were (and are) very popular for lighting the stations of the three principal officers in American Lodges. The usual Masonic symbols of the square and compasses are often used as the shape of the filament of the bulb.
These bulbs are quite collectable and rare examples of the bulbs illustrating various American Masonic associations for men and women can fetch high premiums. These particular bulbs are of a more standard type.
Assistant Provincial Grand Master, Dr. Andy Green, who took the items to the event, said: 'Our masonic items certainly stood well in the Cabinet of Curiosities and evoked a lot of interest with those attending the reception.'
Freemasons’ Hall, Leicester, will be opening its doors on Saturday 21st September 2019 as part of the Heritage Open Days. More details can be found here.