The Deacon’s chain dates back to 1813 and we know the Deacons’ names and design of links for that entire period because they are ALL part of the chain worn by each Deacon in turn. The actual medallion part is from 1896 when a bigger one replaced the old Deacon’s medallion now worn by the Collector. Traditions have come and gone during that period of more than 200 years: initially the links were plain circles, then they became three-dimensional representations of something connected with the Deacon’s interests or work. There was a time when the new link was worn from the beginning of the Deacon’s year and the design mentioned in the Choosing Day Meeting minutes. More recently it has been the custom to commission new links in a batch for a number of recent past Deacons.
Deacon Nina, having heard that many Deacons are asked where their link is on the chain, decided to get her link made and inserted soon after taking office. A group of recent former deacons have launched a wonderful project to have their links designed and made by college jewellery students. However, Deacon Nina’s sister-in-law is a professional jeweller, Frances Julie Whitelaw, so her link was made and installed by Julie before the 2022 Choosing Dinner. What follows is a picture story of the development and manufacture from a concept of the female/Venus symbol represented in engineering tools.