Kingston Lapidary & Mineral Club

   The intarsia pictured above was conceived and made by members of the Kingston Lapidary and Mineral Club to commemorate the Three Hundredth Anniversary of the founding of Cataraqui (later the City of Kingston) at the eastern end of Lake Ontario by Louis de Buade, Count Frontenac on July13th, 1673. It was expected that this settlement would be an excellent trading post for Native Americans coming from the west with furs, as well as a fortress to protect the interior of the continent from the English.
   This is a replica of Count Frontenac's personal Coat-of-Arms reproduced in stones chosen so their colours would correspond as closely as possible to the original colours of the crest. It consists of 75 pieces of 7 varieties of material cut, shaped, fitted together, ground and polished after being glued in place on a 16" x 20" piece of white vitrolite for a base.
   On research a French book described it as "D'azur a trois pattes de griffon d'or" and then described a griffon thus "cet etre chimerique est compose de la moitie superieure d'un aigle et de la moitie inferieure d'un lion".
   The central part and tails of the intarsia are of sodalite (blue), most of which came from the Bancroft area in Ontario and from Africa. The white half-inch margin is of white marble from Madoc in Hastings County in Ontario. The upper section under the gold tiara is of this same material. The outer section is made of deep red jasper from Arizona with sodalite tips on the beak. Superimposed upon the base are pillows of chrysoprase (green) to represent emeralds and a synthetic material (cullet) to represent the rubies. The round orbs along the top of the tiara are also of white marble.
   Many members, too numerous to mention them all, took part in the various phases of the work. It is estimated that the project represents about 1045 man-hours (or should we now say person-hours?) in planning, making the patterns, choosing, and preparing the stones most suitable for it. Special mention must go to Whigs Kane, who engineered and coordinated the work; Norm Pappi, who made the patterns and cut the brass for the tiara and the talons; and Andy Ready who carried on with the project when Whigs was hospitalized for several weeks due to an accident. Frontenac's signature of etched brass is the work of Earl Forbes, who enlarged it to proper size from a copy of Frontenac's signature.
   After being assembled on the vitrolite, it was put in a suitable frame, which is not shown in the picture and presented to the city of Kingston as our part in their Tercentenary celebrations. It was the center of attraction at our annual Gem and Mineral Show. It now occupies a conspicuous place in the Frontenac Room of the renovated City Hall, where the Mayor's special committee meetings are held. All in all, it was a lot of work, but in the final analysis, well worth doing.

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