Two jewels once owned
by Sir Alfred Robbins,
President of the Board
of General Purposes
A Masonic toast rack,
probably late Victorian
A jug from the Ancient order
of Foresters, mid-19th century
Demilitarisation was policed by troops
from France and Britain stationed there.
The Lodge was formed from the work of
the British Masonic Society in Rhineland
and met under the sanction of the Lodge
of Honour and Generosity No. 165,
London. The sanction was granted at
their regular meeting on 27 March 1923.
The Cologne Lodge of Instruction then
began arranging furniture, jewels and by-laws for the Lodge. Eventually there were
50 founders, and the Lodge held its first
meeting on 10 July 1923, meeting at the
Army College, Hansa Ring, Cologne.
As the Lodge grew, these premises
became too small, and in 1924 they moved to
more suitable accommodation at Antoniter
Strasse, Cologne. Following the Locarno
Treaty, agreed in 1925, which helped to
normalise relations with Germany, there was
a phased withdrawal of British and French
troops which was completed in 1930.
With its members being reduced as they
returned to Britain, the Lodge closed and
the last meeting was held on 28 August 1929.
It is striking how even a small jewel can tell
such a fascinating story a poignant reminder
of its times.
As regular readers of MQ will be aware,
the Library and Museum also purchases
objects and books from time to time, and
September was unusually busy in this respect.
Among the purchases were two very fine
jewels once owned by Sir Alfred Robbins,
a former parliamentary lobby correspondent
and President of the Board of General
These comprised one from Gallery
Lodge No. 1928 in recognition of valuable
services rendered as Treasurer of the
Benevolent Fund, and the other from
Gallery Chapter No. 1928, as PZ 1904-1905.
The Lodge was formed for men working
as journalists and on the Official Report,
Hansard, in the Houses of Parliament.
Both the Lodge and Chapter badge is
the Royal Coat of Arms as an orb, encircled
by a garter with text honi soit qui mal y pense,
surmounted by a crown with a banner
above reading `Houses of Parliament'.
To add to our collection of clocks,
we also purchased a French clock in a gilt
bronze case decorated with books and
Masonic working tools. The case can be
dated to the period 1820-1830, but the
clock itself has an earlier Paris movement.
Thanks to a generous donation from the
Roy Wells Charitable Trust, the Library
and Museum has been able to purchase
the recently published new edition of the
Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
all 60 volumes covering 50,000 lives
an extremely useful research tool.
Finally, we also had some success
during the month at two auctions. Our
first purchase was a 19th century ceramic
jug decorated with emblems and mottoes
relating to the Ancient Order of Foresters,
one of the oldest friendly societies.
We already have a number of pieces
of regalia relating to this Order, and the jug
was purchased as a representative piece of
ceramics to support this collection of regalia.
Our other purchase was a silver plated
Masonic toast rack with square and compass
uprights (to hold the toast!) and levels for
feet. An intriguing and beautifully designed
object which is, perhaps surprisingly, the
first toast rack in the collection!
We were fortunate in September to be
presented with, or purchased, a number of
extraordinary items. We are very grateful
to all the donors and to those who donated
in all the other months of the year!
As a matter of policy we do not generally
disclose publicly the identity of individual
donors, although this information is
recorded in our records. Thanks also to
the Friends of the Library and Museum
and other individuals and Lodges which
have made monetary donations, which
have enabled us to make these purchases.
Web site created by Mark Griffin