Vintage 9kt/Sterling Masonic Orb Folding Cross Pendant
Freemasonry is a fraternal society that historically ranked the qualifications of masons dating back to the Medieval ages. Each body of members is referred to as a "lodge" that conducts regular meetings and business. Freemasonry describes itself as "a beautiful system of morality, veiled in allegory and illustrated by symbols." Traditional manual tools such as squares, compasses, trowels, and levels are common symbols that represent stonemasons are common motifs in their historic relics. Although Freemasonry is often associated with early groups such as the Knights Templar, the organization is still very much intact in the modern day. However, antique and ancient Masonic heirlooms are rare finds and have now become very collectible!
This ingenious "Masonic Orb" vintage pendant from the 1950s is a wonderful example of symbolic Freemasonry jewelry! Crafted in sterling silver and topped in 9kt gold (indicating English origin), this particular design is also known as a "Masonic Ball" or "Golden Orb." This unusual spherical piece is meticulously designed and precisely crafted, unfolding to reveal a cross-shaped pendant when opened. Its unique 3-dimensional design resembles a solid golden ball from the outside, with decorative "arms" hugging the top. Each arm ends in a trefoil pin, which hooks into the surface of the orb. When unpinned and opened, the cross inside is formed by six pyramidal links, each side engraved with traditional Masonic symbols. A simple gold ring at the top of the piece allows it to hang from a favorite chain. A very unique piece with fascinating symbolism, this stylish pendant would make a special addition to any collection!
Measurements: The pendant hangs about 1" long (including the ring at the top). When closed, the orb measures about 3/4" in diameter. When opened, the cross measures 1 7/8" long and 1 3/8" wide. Each individual pyramidal link is 1/2" wide and measures 3/8" high.
Condition: The overall condition of the pendant is excellent. Besides normal surface wear, there is no apparent damage to the gold and sterling silver setting. The unique folding feature of the pendant is in perfect working order, with all hinges and pins working properly.