Lapidary & Mineral Club
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.