The All Seeing Eye
A rather splendid Masonic presentation pendant, dated 1862. Freemasonry describes itself as a ‘beautiful system of morality, veiled in allegory and illustrated by symbols’. The symbolism is largely but not exclusively drawn from the tools of stonemasons and a moral lesson is ascribed to each tool. The silver frame on this pendant is decorated with oak leaves and acorns. It contains a compartment depicting colourful watercolour symbols within a garlanded gilt wreath surmounted by a trumpeting angel and on a Bristol blue glass ground. At the top of the scene is the all seeing eye. The eye was a symbol of watchfulness and care of the universe. Below the eye is a blazing star, the star which guided the wise men of the east to Jesus’s birthplace, along with the moon and the seven Masonic stars. A trowel and a ruler represent the tools of the stonemason, The equilateral triangle was adopted by nearly all nations of antiquity as a symbol of the Deity. The square and compass are tools of the architect. At the base of the scene is a coffin, reminder of mortality. The reverse is inscribed : Presented to P.A.R.A. Tho’s Cooper by the Brothers of Lodge 17 Jan 1862. The pendant measures 4 inches by 2.5 inches. It is exceptionally detailed, very fine quality and immaculate.