Sunday, January 2, 2022

‘Everybody smiles’


Keeping things lighthearted to start the year, you can’t get much more easygoing than making everybody smile, can you?

Worcester Art Museum in Worcester, Massachusetts has on exhibit one of those rare sets of silver jewels for lodge officers crafted by Paul Revere.

All photos courtesy Morning Star Lodge AF&AM.

Revere was born January 1, 1735. He was initiated in St. Andrew’s Lodge, a Scottish lodge in Boston, in 1760. He served five terms as Worshipful Master there (plus four in another lodge), and was a Grand Lodge officer for many years. These pieces were made in 1793, two years before he became Grand Master, for the newly instituted (their term) Morning Star Lodge in Worcester.

As you can see, both Deacons’ jewels are inscribed with “Omnibus Arridet,” Latin for “everybody smiles.”

I don’t know what the motto might mean for the lodge. Was it designated to the Deacons because they are the messengers, and a happy countenance is preferable when attending to alarms? Although…

Paul Revere is known to history as an American patriot and as both an artisan silversmith and an artist engraver—but as a young man he became a dentist! During lean economic times in 1760s Boston, the peacetime following the French and Indian War, Paul Revere was in troublesome debt. To get by (and keep his house), he needed what the kids today call a “side hustle,” and so he learned how and then advertised his services as one who could fashion false teeth, at least for the front, using animal bone and ivory. “Everybody smiles” would be a smart tag line for a dentist’s ad campaign.

Seriously though, there is a Latin saying wrongly attributed Marcus Aurelius:

Mors nobis omnibus arridet, homo omnis hoc risum lenem redeuntem facere potest.

Or (maybe):

Death smiles at us all, all man can do is just smile back.

It seems these are good times for Morning Star Lodge. One of the Past Masters was installed Deputy Grand Master last week, and one of their own is the new DDGM. I bet they’re all smiling.

The collection of jewels is on long term loan, as part of a broader exhibit of Revere’s silversmithing, so there’s no need to rush today (although admission is free on first Sundays). Find them in the American Decorative Arts Gallery on the third floor.

WAM is open Wednesday through Sunday, 10 a.m to 4 p.m. 55 Salisbury Street in Worcester.

The most important jewel,
even if they do spell it ‘Tyler.’

Click here to see King Hiram’s Lodge’s Revere jewels.

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