Author Topic: Masonic Token  (Read 230 times)

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Offline brandm24

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Masonic Token
« on: February 14, 2020, 07:38:46 PM »
Here's a Mosonic  penny issued by Chapter 243 in Philadelphia. It was organized in 1873 but I don't know exactly how old the penny is itself.

On the obverse is the common keystone symbol with the letters HTWSSTKS around the center circle. The initials stand for "Hiram The Widow's Son Sent To King Solomon" and is also commonly seen on Masonic pieces. Hiram Abiff was the chief architect for King Solomon's Temple. He was killed when he refused to reveal secret Masonic passwords to evil non-believers. It was considered an act of courage and loyalty.

Tristam B. Freeman, who the chapter was named after, was a print seller from London who settled in Philadelphia and founded an auction house in 1805. It was named Samuel T. Freeman & Co. It became very prominent in auction house circles. The company, now named  Freeman's Auctioneers and Appraisers, remained a family business until 2017. It's now located at 1808 Chestnut St.

The obverse keystone and tools are struck in very high relief which gives the piece an impressive look. It's 31 mm and struck on a thin brass planchet. Along with pictures of the token, I've included a picture of the present day store front of Freeman's, a picture of Freeman himself, and that of a commemorative plate issued by the chapter in 1911.

Bruce
Bruce

Offline malj1

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Re: Masonic Token
« Reply #1 on: February 14, 2020, 11:43:22 PM »
I was curious about the odd shape of your token and searching the web I found this which may have been the original intended shape.

I was seeking Tristam B. Freeman's date of birth and death but was sidetracked and forgot!
Malcolm
Have a look at  my tokens and my banknotes.

Offline brandm24

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Re: Masonic Token
« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2020, 11:25:57 AM »
My example has a small bend on the edge which is one reason it's shape is odd. Yours looks to have a planchet crack or two. I think the "damage" may have been from the pressure required to strike the high relief obverse on a very thin planchet. The tokens may have been oddly shaped anyway, but the heavy pressure required to strike them may have contributed to it's odd appearance. Just my thought, Mal.

Bruce
Bruce

Offline brandm24

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Re: Masonic Token
« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2020, 11:53:02 AM »
Freeman was born in 1767, probably in Devonshire, and came to America about 1795. He died in 1842 in England.

Before he organized Freemans he was a free trader, buying and selling goods right off the newly arrived ships. Apparently, he went by the name T.M. Freeman for some reason.

 The name of the company founded in 1805 was Samuel T. Freeman & Co. I have no idea who Samuel T. was... perhaps his father? However, this may be an error in the records I viewed while researching. As you know, Mal, A lot of historical records are either misleading or just flat out wrong. Hard to know the difference sometimes.

Bruce
Bruce

Offline bagerap

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Re: Masonic Token
« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2020, 02:16:05 AM »
One brief addendum. HTWSSTKS is actually Hiram Tyrian Widow's Son Sendeth to King Solomon

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Masonic Token
« Reply #5 on: February 16, 2020, 09:28:25 AM »
Great research, gentlemen. Hard to find such high quality threads on tokens on the net.

Peter
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Offline malj1

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Re: Masonic Token
« Reply #6 on: February 16, 2020, 10:00:46 AM »
I was curious about the odd shape of your token and searching the web I found this which may have been the original intended shape.

The piece I found has D & C below - Made by Dieges & Clust in Providence, Rhode Island
Malcolm
Have a look at  my tokens and my banknotes.

Offline brandm24

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Re: Masonic Token
« Reply #7 on: February 16, 2020, 11:22:38 AM »
One brief addendum. HTWSSTKS is actually Hiram Tyrian Widow's Son Sendeth to King Solomon
Thanks for the correction, bagerap.

Bruce
Bruce

Offline brandm24

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Re: Masonic Token
« Reply #8 on: February 16, 2020, 11:29:10 AM »
The piece I found has D & C below - Made by Dieges & Clust in Providence, Rhode Island

No maker name on my example. I was thinking about looking for him but you've done the work for me. Time enough now for another cup of coffee.  :)

Bruce
Bruce