Sunday, December 19, 2010

Knights of Honor

This amazing red seal is a beautiful and early example of a printed seal on certificates.  It has  a diameter of almost 6 cm. The seal appears on a benefit certificate of the Supreme Lodge Knights of Honor and depicts a knight shielding a widow and her children against further misfortune.  The Latin motto of this masonic organisation says Spectemur Agendo, meaning Let us be judged by our acts.

This unissued benefit certificate of the Supreme Lodge Knights of Honor, dated in the 1880s, has a nominal value of 2000 Dollars.  At that time, not everyone could contribute such a large amount on charity.

Supreme Lodge Knights of Honor
organized Jan 1874
The Knights of Honor were organized in the early 1870s with the purpose of taking care for the sick and pay sums of money to the heirs of deceased members. In the following decades more than 1000 subordinate lodges were formed in the US. During the yellow fever epidemics in the 1870s and 1880s, large sums of money were paid out by the order to sufferers outside of the organization. According to this source on Wikipedia, the organization paid out almost 100,000,000 Dollars in benefits up to 1910.


You can read more about seals in my article Seal Stories (click).
More about masonic organizations and related scripophily, can be found in In the Name of the Great Architect of the Universe.


  1. I have a Knights of Honor Benefit Certificate No. 191644 issued July 16, 1887. How can I determine the value of it?

  2. Hey Anonymous
    Thank you for your question. Masonic benefit certificates are not really bond or share certificates, however Masonic membership and related certificates are a nice addition to the topic (see ). It is difficult to say what the value would/could be, especially without seeing the certificate. Certificates that are rather decorative sometimes fetch nice prices at scripophily auctions. Why not become a member of the International Bond and Share Society ( ) ? As a member, you can not only consign your duplicates for the international society's auctions, but also get to know scripophily auction houses and when their auctions take place. IBSS also informs you about bourses and provides you with nice magazine. I think a subscription costs £20/ $32 / EUR25 for one year.