Elaborately hand-carved mahogany gavel made for a Knights of Pythias Lodge in Los Angeles, California. The head is decorated with acanthus leaves between medial and outer bands, surmounted by an oval wreath enclosing a diamond lozenge, in turn enclosing knight’s armor within crossed swords and halberds, the handle terminating in an eagle head. Medial and outer bands of head are carved with the inscription: “Belvedere Lodge No 326. K. P./ Los Angeles Cal. 1925./ Carved by Jack Ford.”
The Belvedere Lodge No. 326 was part of the Knights of Pythias, an international non-sectarian fraternal order dedicated to achieving “peace through understanding” throughout the world. It was founded in 1864, the first fraternal order to be chartered by an act of Congress. There are still Knights of Pythias lodges in Los Angeles, but No. 326 no longer exists.
Reference: “The Order of Knights of Pythias.” The Pythians. http://www.pythias.org/ (6 May 2003).