Vintage 9kt & Silver Masonic 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, and 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 pendant is a wonderful example of symbolic Freemasonry jewelry! Most likely from the 1950's, this vintage piece has a unique design also known as a "Masonic Ball" or "Golden Orb." Made of 9kt gold with a silver interior, 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 with decorative "arms" that hug the top. A small gold knob on the outside of the orb allows the ball to be pulled open from the top. The cross is formed by six individual pyramid links, each side of which is engraved with traditional Masonic symbols. Included is a star of David, a crescent moon and star, a mallet, an envelope, and several other symbols. The outside of the ball is smooth, and the four "arms" have a subtle etched detail on the surface. Stamped on one of the arms is "JHW," while the bottom is marked "MADE IN ENGLAND." A simple gold loop at the top of the piece allows it to be hung and worn from a chain. A very unique piece with fascinating symbolism, this stylish pendant would make a wonderful addition to any collection!
Measurements: The pendant hangs 7/8" long (including the ring at the top). The orb has a diameter of 3/4". When opened, the cross hangs 2" long and measures 1 1/4" wide.
Condition: The overall condition of the pendant is excellent. Besides normal surface wear, there is no apparent damage to the gold and silver setting or to the gold ring for hanging. The unique folding feature of the pendant is in perfect working order.