As readers and customers will already appreciate, I am very keen on the phrase; ‘Go find another one.’ Our recent antique acquisition reflects this comment perfectly.
It is a very rare gentleman’s tie pin. The pin dates to the later period of King William IV’s reign, circa 1835. It comprises of an 18K (750) gold tie pin in the form of a walking cane with two spherical objects suspended from it. The orbs are in fact freshwater pearls, a very expensive commodity for the era. The handle of the cane is finished in white enamel.
This unassuming tie pin could easily be mistaken for something insignificant; however, once you associate this with the meaning of the cane it becomes a very rare item. This simple walking cane has huge connections with the Freemason fraternity.
The tie pin would more than likely have been a bespoke, privately commissioned piece of jewellery. Only a very wealthy, well-connected gentleman would be able to afford such a luxury item during these times of hardship and poverty. Considering it would have only been worn when in the masonic lodge it was a rather expensive item to own.
The cane itself relates to Freemasonry only by ignorance and mispronunciation. When a Freemason undertakes their third degree, commonly referred to as being raised, they become a master mason. A name associated with this degree is of the biblical character Tubal Cain, a direct descendant of Cain and Able and nemesis to Noah.
He is described as the first artificer in metals. He’s mentioned in Genesis 4:22, where is says Tubal-Cain was the ‘forger of all instruments of bronze and iron’ or an ‘instructor of every artificer in brass and iron.’
In the King James Version of the Bible, his name is conjoined to become Tubalcain. In the New International English Standard Version it is Tubal-Cain; the name Cain translates as ‘Smith’ (which would reflect the remarks about his metalworking skill).
Tubal-Cain was the son of Lamech and Zillah. His half-brothers were Jubal and Jabal; his sister’s name was Naamah. The two elements of his name mean ‘producer’ and ‘smith,’ and he is associated with the origin of metal working.
This translated name has been mispronounced for hundreds of years and is often referred to in the Freemason fraternity as Two-Ball Cane. You may often see a Freemason with a lapel pin of a walking cane with two spherical objects attached to it (thus a two-ball cane).
This mispronunciation therefore connects our antique cane with Freemasons. The tie pin would have adorned a cravat or silk tie and was no doubt a striking accessory to the gentleman’s regalia.
If you are considering selling any items of jewellery, simply pop in store and get a free appraisal and evaluation from James. Juels Ltd is always seeking to expand its jewellery collection.