Wednesday, June 22, 2022

‘For the Freemason who has everything’


What to give the Brother Mason who has everything? How about a reproduction lodge membership patent signed by none other than Benjamin Franklin? Or perhaps your lodge would want to display it? Or your Masonic museum?

Franklin added his autograph in 1785 in his capacity as Venerable Master of La Loge des Neuf Soeurs in Paris. Speaking of museums, those 
“Nine Sisters” are the Muses of Greek mythology.

The original membership patent was presented to Bro. Claude-Jacques Notte, an artist. Sorry to say I’ve never heard of him, nor does there seem to be any biographical information on the web, but he must have been plugged into the arts and sciences world of Enlightenment Paris that characterized La Loge des Neuf Soeurs. He seems to be remembered for a portrait of John Paul Jones.

Accompanying the reproduction document is an explanatory booklet penned by Pierre Mollier—a Brother Mason we do know, by reputation if not personally. He is a Masonic scholar and author whose latest book, Masonic Myths and Legends, was published this spring by Westphalia Press. He is the director of the Grand Orient of France’s Museum of Freemasonry in Paris. (Remember Neuf Soeurs was a G.O. lodge.)

It goes without saying, but I’ll say it regardless: I’m only sharing news of this commerce, and I have no connection to the seller or to any transaction.

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