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ARTIFACT: Extremely rare 1905 member badge for the Mystick Krewe of Comus New Orleans, Secret Mardi Gras Society. The organization was formed in 1856 by six business men during a meeting in the old Gem Restaurant located in the French Quarter and remains the oldest organization of New Orleans Mardi Gras festivities. The first Camus parade was held on Mardi Gras in 1857 and was an annual event until 1991, except during times of war. The Mystick Krewe's membership was incredibly secret and entrance to their balls was highly desired. One year a group of women tried to force their way into the Comus ball by way of a flying wedge and other individuals have tried to beg or steal their way in - the invitations themselves are highly sought by collectors for their rarity and beauty. The absolute secrecy of its members and activities led to the dissolution of their participation in the parade when the city passed an ordinance in 1991 requiring the release of its membership ledgers. The ordinance was passed in an effort to ensure that the membership and activities of social groups were not discriminatory, though overturned by the Fifth Circuit Court, the Mystick Krewe of Comus has not returned to parading since. Also known as the 'Ball Favor Pin', the ornate badge is a light blue enameled, five point star with a clear faceted stone in the center and the date 1905 and letters: "M U S C O" at the end of each point in gilt detail. Surrounding are smaller raised star embellishments with clear prong set gemstones in the middle of each. The theme of the 1905 ball was The Lost Pleiad.
VINTAGE: Circa 1905
SIZE: Approximately 1-3/8" in diameter
MATERIALS / CONSTRUCTION: Enameled gilt brass
ATTACHMENT: Horizontal pin with 'C' type catch
ITEM NOTES: This is from a societies and organizations collection which we will be listing more of over the next few months. MBJX16 LIGEX4/16
CONDITION: 8- (Very FineExcellent): The badge shows minor to moderate wear, nearly all the gilt brass and enamel details remain intact, overall very fine condition.
GUARANTEE: As with all my items, this piece is guaranteed original.