In the late 1600s, Gerhard Schott, a founder of the Hamburg opera, built a model of King Solomon’s Temple for Christian Heinrich Postel’s opera concerning the temple’s destruction.
The huge replica, which was 80’ around and 13’ tall, captured the imagination of the European public. It was displayed throughout the continent – first in Hamburg and later in London.
The Henry Wilson Coil Library and Museum of Freemasonry has obtained an exciting artifact – a 24” x 41” souvenir print, most likely from the London exhibition of Schott’s model (circa 1723-1730).
In addition to representing an aspect of Masonic ritual, this piece is important to Freemasonry because it illustrates the popularity of King Solomon’s Temple at the time of the model’s creation. Devotees of the Temple included leading thinkers, such as famed physicist Isaac Newton and his friend, Dr. Theophilus Desagulliers, who was a framer of the London Grand Lodge.
Photo: The Henry W. Coil Library and Museum’s newest artifact, “A Beautiful and Accurate Elevation of the Temple of Solomon Taken from the Celebrated Model Erected by Counsellor Schott at Hamburg. Ornamented with the most interesting Passages in the Lives of King David and Solomon his Son.”