Fraternal societies of freemasons, first introduced into the American colonies around 1730, became increasingly popular following the Revolutionary War. The enthusiasm for Freemasonry went hand in hand with a growing interest in the Enlightenment and with ideals of equality. Having developed originally out of craft guilds, Freemasonry often adopted symbols of the crafts—for instance the architect's square as a symbol of virtue—as well as religious and heraldic devices. Jewelry formed an important part of the regalia. This shield-shaped silver medal was made as a personal jewel for Lockwood N. DeForest, a member of Jerusalem Chapter No. 13 of Bridgeport, Connecticut. It is engraved with various masonic devices and scripts, as well as with DeForest's own emblem of a three-masted schooner flying a pennant and the American flag and the date June 8, 1826.
Purchase, Susan and Jon Rotenstreich Gift, 2000 (2000.544).