Anybody that collects fraternal objects probably knows what I mean, that sometimes you just get kinda tired of Shrine stuff. Good Lord, there’s so much Shrine material out there! Of course, I love all of my fezzes and medals and whatnot. But anymore, it’s rare that I run across a Shrine piece, especially a fez, that warrants a second look from the collecting perspective. There’s a million of ’em, and they’re all pretty similar, mostly falling into three or four schools.
On occasion, though, I come across a Shrine fez that is completely out of left field. I don’t necessarily mean pieces from those few Temples that do or have had their own unique emblem. Those certainly catch my eye, just because they stick out. I really mean good ol’ Shrine fezzes that are somehow genuinely unusual or unique in their design or execution. These are prized pieces! They are the Shrine fezzes that make me double-take and say, “What’s up with this fez?”
This Ararat Temple piece was a recent example of that. I’ve never seen another like it. Mid-century, maybe 1950s?
My Media Temple fez is another, and even more particularly odd. The Ararat hat at least is made of wire, stitched into the felt of the hat. In some ways, it is still a pretty standard fez, except that the emblem is almost entirely that wire framework. The Media fez, however, is totally unique and bizarre. You can see why!
The name and emblem are just what they look like, solid plates of metal, punched and pressed, 3-D, and then joined to the fez with brad-like connections. The Temple name has a mirrored, somewhat rainbow surface, and I think it is plated in silver. Completely oddball, and fantastic.