Late Edwardian Grand Knight, Knights of Columbus Diamond Watch Fob 14k c. 1920
This is a true one-of-a-kind piece! This 14k watch fob was presented to the Grand Knight of the St. Luke's chapter of the Knights of Columbus in 1920. It is composed of three hinged panels. The first is the Fraternal Order of the Knights of Columbus enameled coat of arms, depicting a fasces, an anchor and a dagger. This panel is set with three Old Mine cut diamonds weighing approximately .15ctw. On the reverse, it is beautifully engraved, reading:
"Presented to JOSEPH L. QUINN by St. Luke Council No. 438 K. of C. For grateful remembrance of his services during the past two years as Grand Knight Oct. 8 1920"
This most likely means he served from 1918-1920. The Knights of Columbus was formed in 1881 during the Golden Age of Fraternalism, so at the time this fob was presented the organization was not very old. The history of the founding of the Knights of Columbus is quite interesting, including why the organization is Catholic as well as the social climate was around fraternal organizations--particularly the Knights of Columbus--at the time this fob was presented.
The openwork of the first panel reveals the enameled letters "TFFM" for "Tempus Fugit, Memento Mori". (time flies, remember death) from the second panel, which depicts an enameled compass with 32 points. The reverse of this panel is in black enamel and shows a bound scroll, two swords within a heart-shaped wreathe and a lettered banner "CONSTITUTION".
The final panel and the reverse of the entire piece shows a partial Fourth Degree emblem, which in this case is a dove and a cross. The dove is supposed to be holding the world at the bottom of the cross, but unfortunately this piece has been lost.
At the top of the fob we have a skull and crossbones with garnet eyes. The piece measures 1.5" in length (including the bail) x 1" length. It is not stamped or signed, but it tests between 14-18k gold. Overall the enamel is in excellent condition, with minor areas of loss. An incredible, historical piece and miniature work of art!