I’m never surprised by what detectorists find in fields. Of course, if I was an archaeologist, taught to use his/her imagination to state what an article was, who it belonged to, and its function, it wouldn’t pose such a problem.
Unfortunately, in Batty Barfordian prose I am just a ‘weak-minded smug-arsed metal detecting half-brain.’ Within these limitations I shall have to try harder.
With that in mind I was reminded of the time my mate Dave brought me a dirty partefact of a bar with tassels. I don’t have his filthy find now, But I knew at once what it was.
What Dave had found was from a masonic apron. Mrs John used to replace the tassels when they parted from the leather straps to which they were attached. You can see them here on a lambskin apron, the masons ’emblem of innocence and the ‘badge of a mason’.
The seven chains are full of symbolic meaning and represent various masonic allegories such as the seven liberal arts and sciences, the number of masons required to make a perfect lodge, then number of years it took Solomon to build the temple and so on. See more HERE on the apron.
Golden apron tassels also appear on a masons’ apron but only for one of a higher rank. Incidentally, you may find out for yourself. Freemasonry isn’t a ‘secret society’. All the information here – and more – can be gleaned from the Net.
Modern aprons and all things masonic can be obtained from the online shop of Toye, Kenning & Spencer and other retailers.
My friend in Canada has found a similar item and always though it was military in nature.
I had no idea John.. I found almost the identical item. I thought is was a military type of thing. learned something new today and that is always a good thing . . . MICHEAL RAWLINS
In the Searcher magazine of January 1999, I saw this in Identity Parade . . . looks as though two of the chains are missing. Anyway. now sorted!
Paul Mower has all found one. They are a more common find than I originally thought.