Brass finial

This brass finial was mistakenly collected as an example of a Friendly Society pole head. Friendly Societies were 19th and early 20th century cooperative organisations to support rural workers. In some ways they were proto-trade unions but they also adopted semi-masonic symbols to create a sense of identity.
Pole heads were recognised as having a strong aesthetic and became collected by those interested in English Folk-Art. Margaret Lambert and Enid Marx were a couple who were pioneer collections in this field, their main collections are now at Compton Verney. Marx and Lambert toured the country looking for examples of folk-art and when in Exeter they found what they thought were Friendly Society pole-heads and donated them to RAMM. Sadly they were mistaken. What they found were probably brass fittings from a church, but one can see a similarity.

Object Summary

Accession Loan No.
16/2020/2
Collection Class
Social and industrial history
Collection Area Region
Northern Europe
Collector Excavator
Enid Marx and Margaret Lambert
Material
copper alloywood
Common Name
brass finial
Simple Name
finial
Period Classification
Modern (1900-); Victorian (1837-1901)

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poppyhead finial; Friendly Society pole head