Masonic objects

by jen

Hi Tim--


My father was a Mason, I'm not sure what degree or anything, he didn't talk about it much, and hadn't been active since he was younger due to other commitments, but he recently passed away. My mother found some of the books he had in a file drawer (we can't read them, of course, they're in codes) and we're wondering where they should be returned to, as my mother seemed to recall him saying they needed to be returned if he died. Do you have any idea? And are there other things we should look for amongst his effects that should be returned?

Thanks.

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Mar 08, 2011
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Ah, our Freemasonry items....
by: Tim

Hi Jen,

Please accept my condolences for your loss.

Thank you for your question and for your consideration that your father's Masonic belongings are properly cared for. His Masonic collection was his personal property, and as such it now belongs to his family. There is nothing that should be returned unless perhaps he borrowed something from the lodge at some point. Most lodges have a library of Masonic literature and the members occasionally take books home to read. But, since he had not been active I doubt that would be the case.

If no one in your family, or his friends or loved ones, has an interest in his Masonic belongings you might consider donating them to his lodge or a lodge in the area. Most lodge libraries are made up, at lease in part, of works that have been donated by members or their families. It may be, too, that his collection contains items that could be useful to his lodge. The coded book that you mentioned is what we call a cipher of our Masonic ritual and someone at the lodge could almost certainly use that in learning the ritual. Lodges are always happy to receive the memorabilia of their members.

It's also possible that some of the items may have monetary value. Some Masonic books are considered rare or collectible. Quality Masonic jewelry can be of good value. In general, though, it's just a bunch of stuff that's valuable only to us for sentimental reasons. Whatever you decide, I would ask that you dispose of his collection with as much dignity as possible. There's nothing sadder to a Freemason than to see a well loved Masonic ring at a flea market.

Thanks again for your question and if I can be of any further assistance please don't hesitate to call on me again.

Fraternally,

Tim

Mar 09, 2011
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thank you
by: jen

Thank you Tim.

My father treasured his time as a Mason, and earlier as a member of DeMolay (his father was also a Mason and a Shriner); the only thing that kept him from being active was his service to others in many other capacities, which I think is the goal of Freemasonry anyway. He certainly lived the qualities Masons value. When he was dying, in the throes of dementia, and after a horrible accident, he mentioned to my mother in my presence that he wanted my older brother to have his DeMolay pin. We were stunned at the clarity of his statement, as he was constantly hallucinating at this point. So, clearly he treasured his relationship with Freemasonry, and we wanted to honor that. I'm glad it's ok to keep whatever we want. We'll probably donate the books, but keep other things--as you said, it's sentimental. Everything of my father's seems very precious now, especially those things that meant something to him.

I very much appreciate your quick answer.


Apr 05, 2011
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joining freemason
by: Ezekiel david

i want to join freemason

Jul 30, 2015
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Wow!
by: Marie Madeleine

I always knew, that masons rule the world! Thanks for your great articles, I really enjoy reading it! Keep up the great work! :)
_____

Sep 14, 2015
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hey guys!
by: Darren P. Crumb

I was pleasantly surprised to find so many useful information on your blog. Thank you very much for sharing your thoughts and discoveries with us.

Apr 06, 2017
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32 degree ring
by: Anonymous

I have for years bought and sold old gold for investments and after 20 years of doing so I bought a 32 degree Masonic ring it's about 40 years old after buying it 2 weeks ago I feel I have a bad juju on my hands the owner had passed away sometime ago and a step son had the ring whom I purchased from I wanna know if this is ok to melt down or should I pass it on to someone I feel my luck in life changed the second i purchased it I must certainly wanna do the right thing with it

May 09, 2017
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Disposal of a Masonic ring...
by: Tim

Dear Anon,

I can't speak to your juju, and I won't speak to the issue of whether certain personal items may absorb and reflect our essence. What I can do is offer my opinion. As a Mason I would much prefer that you not melt down the ring. Sell it to someone who will respect it for what it is; gift it to someone who is in the process of becoming a Freemason; or donate it to a local lodge.

Many of our personal items, and especially our rings, are regarded as special. I hope you will treat this one with the respect it deserves.

Thank you for your question and consideration.

Fraternally,

Tim

Jul 04, 2017
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Masonextdoor
by: Anonymous

Hi. I'm not sure what to do? My father's neighbor was a good man who served our local county as a policeman, detective and a sheriff. He was also a freemason. Sadly he passed away and his son cleaned out the home and moved away with his mother. He told me I could have whatever he left behind. While going thru the bags, I found freemason mics items and a suitcase with Freeman books, etc. Then we found 2 cases with hats in them and a purple medal of freemason. It's says "32"?? Hats are beautiful and well kept. I don't know what to do with these items? Could you please advise me? I don't know much about this and just want to give it to the wrong person. Thank you.

Aug 02, 2017
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Re: Masonextdoor
by: Tim

Dear Masonextdoor,
thank you for visiting Masonsmart and for your consideration in doing the right thing with the Masonic items of a departed Brother. You have several options.

First: As his son said you could have whatever was left, the items are yours if you wish and you can do with them as you want.

Second: You could contact the son and/or widow and see if perhaps they overlooked them and would like to have them.

Third: If the items contain an indication as to the specific Lodge, Valley, Shrine, etc., that the Brother was a member of you could contact them to see if they would like to have them or perhaps advise you on their proper disposition.

One thing I would ask as a personal favor. Please don't allow the items to wind up in a garage sale or flea market. Seeing a Brother's cherished Masonic items at a sale like this just makes me sad. If you don't care for any of the above options I would be happy to make arrangements for shipping the items to me and I'll see that they find a good home. For this option you can contact me through our 'Contact Us' page at this address:

http://www.masonsmart.com/contact-us.html

Thanks again for visiting and please come again.

Fraternally yours,

Tim

Oct 30, 2017
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Query
by: Concerned

I have been asked, and shown recently by a few individuals a copper ring with a cork inside it. I am not Masonic, but some of my family are. I have been told, Ask yer father. What does this mean?
If it is serious about something, or whatever, do I need to then ask my father????


Apr 30, 2019
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Found tie tack,I think.
by: Aaron Fox

I was going through this very old farm house and came across this very old Masonic tie tack ( so I was told) I know nothing about it and would like to learn more.i have pictures of it and would greatly appreciate any info on it plus maybe it's value.you can contact me through my email it's [email protected]

Front image of Masonic tie-chain


Back image of Masonic tie-chain


Photo of clasp of Masonic tie-chain


May 12, 2019
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Re: Found tie tack,I think.
by: Tim

Hello Aaron,
and thank you for your question.

I think what you have there is a pocket watch fob and chain. It looks like a pretty nice piece. I've been unable to find specific information for this particular design, but I'll give you my best guess. The main emblem on the fob is the symbol of a Master Mason so we may assume that the original owner was a Master Mason. The colored parts in the Square and Compasses and the Cross look to be enameled. I would estimate the piece dates to the early twentieth century.

From that point, unfortunately, things get somewhat murky. The design of the fob itself is pretty common: the cross and the crossed swords was a frequently used background for whatever emblem the owner wanted on the face of the fob, in this case, the Masonic Square & Compasses. The top piece, the knight's helmet with the bird on top is generally associated with the Knights of Pythias, which is not a Masonic body. It could be that the original owner was both a Freemason and a Knight of Pythias. Or, it could be that the designer simply liked the look of it. The square link chain appears to be sturdy and substantial. All in all, the piece appears to be in very good condition.

I have not found a direct reference to this particular design in any of the corners and crannies that I've searched. Unfortunately, there does not appear to be any maker's markings aside from the anchor stamped into the chain clasp. This could be an assay office mark or it could be another Masonic symbol.

Bottom line: I'd call it an unusual find in unusually fine condition for its age. As to its value, unless it's solid gold its value would be as a collectible and I'm not the one to try and put a figure to it. You might try eBay or Etsy. I don't think you'll find anything exactly like it, but you can find similar watch fobs and that may give you an idea of its value.

Thanks for sharing and congratulations on a very curious find.

Fraternally,
Tim

p.s. No doubt there are better-informed brethren out there who may be able to shed more light on this. Hopefully, they will stop by and do so.

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