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Victorian Masonic Double Headed Eagle Pendant

$275.00

Victorian Masonic Double Headed Eagle Pendant

$275.00


Description

DATE:  Victorian, c.1876

A remarkable - both for its size and its craftsmanship - antique double headed eagle pendant dating from the mid Victorian era. The bird is crowned, with wings outstretched and clutching a sword in its talons. Exquisite feather detailing covers both the back and front, with individual feathers rendered, and eyes set with striking red garnet cabochons. The base of the crown is hinged, allowing the eagle to sit naturally when worn, and a full set of English hallmarks confirm sterling silver and date it to 1876.

The double headed eagle as a heraldic emblem dates back to Roman times. The consul Marius first consecrated the eagle (single-headed variety) which became the standard at the head of every Roman army, and was adopted as the symbol of imperial power. On the division of the Empire into Eastern and Western (Constantinople and Rome respectively), and its subsequant restoration by the Carlovignians into what became known as the Holy Roman Empire, the double headed eagle naturally became representative of this double empire, and has been used throughout European history in this role ever since - notably by the emperors of Germany (who claimed their empire to be a continuation of ancient Rome, hence Kaiser) and Russia (who claimed a double empire once Poland was added to her own, hence Czar/Tzar). I believe this particular rendering of the double headed eagle is masonic, however, specifically relating to the Parisian Order of the Council of Emperors of the East and West. From freemasonry.bcy.ca

"The double-headed eagle was probably first introduced as a symbol into Freemasonry in the year 1758. In that year the Body calling itself the Council of Emperors of the East and West was established in Paris. The double-headed eagle as likely to have been assumed by this Council in reference to the double Jurisdiction which it claimed, and which is represented so distinctly in its title. The jewel of the Thirty-third Degree, or Sovereign Grand Inspector-General of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, is a double-headed eagle (which was originally black, but is now generally of silver), a golden crown resting on both heady wings displayed, beak and claws of gold, his talons grasping a wavy sword, the emblem of cherubic fire, the hilt held by one talon, the blade by the other. The banner of the Order is also a double-headed eagle crowned."

STONES 

Garnets

MEASUREMENTS 

6.47 x 5.5cm (not including jump ring)

WEIGHT 

46.5g

MARKS 

English hallmarks for sterling silver, Birmingham 1876

CONDITION 

Excellent

Victorian Masonic Double Headed Eagle Pendant Victorian Masonic Double Headed Eagle Pendant Victorian Masonic Double Headed Eagle Pendant Victorian Masonic Double Headed Eagle Pendant Victorian Masonic Double Headed Eagle Pendant

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