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early American gold Masonic Grand Sword bearer's jewel

early American gold Masonic Grand Sword bearer's jewel
click for more pictures for item 2279

engraved on reverse "Comp'n Thos R. Smith appointed Grand Sword bearer AL 5834 AD1830", diameter 2 1/2 inches, pristine original condition, weight .80 Troy ounces, tests 14K, unmarked. An object of remarkable construction and quality, each letter on the obverse is hand-cut and applied. The circular and triangular elements are fastened together with miniature nuts and bolts. Ex-collection Carl Crossman.

Usually our chief historical officer latches onto such an item like a pit bull on the leg of a burglar, and doesn't let go until its full story is known. However, in this case, we will simply state that the written record points strongly towards Thomas Smith of Vergennes, VT (please see third photo), and will also note that the flag of the Green Mountain Boys bears 13 stars as does the ribbon entwining the crossed swords on this jewel.

Smith was mentioned in the December 16, 1826 issue of "Masonic Mirror and Mechanic's Intelligencer" as "Companion Thomas Smith, Tyler." For those who are not familiar with Freemasonry, the Tyler stood guard outside a lodge while it was in session. Chronologically, it would make sense that he had been promoted to Grand Sword bearer in 1830. Though the buyer will assume the privilege of any additional research hours if so desired, there is no lack of certainty that American gold objects from this era are extremely scarce. Indeed, this may be the only known example from the state of Vermont.

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