Sep 23, 2009

New Kecoughtan chenille prototype discovered

A couple of days ago my friend and fellow Virginia OA collector Michael McCaughan advised me he had obtained what appears to be a prototype of the Kecoughtan C-3 chenille that was issued for the Lodge's 40th anniversary in 1991.  He said that the patch was part of a group of sample chenilles purchased by John Conley Williams directly from Standard Pennant Company and later sold to another collector in Virginia. Michael kindly sent me pictures of the front and back. Interestingly, the reverse of the patch does not include a manufacturer's label:
I had likewise never heard of such a prototype; it's not listed in the Blue Book or any other Kecoughtan listings like those compiled by the late Dr. Ron Godby. I checked the Kryer archive to see who was active in Trading Post affairs in 1991 and discovered that Dr. Godby was Trading Post Advisor, and his son Jeff was Lodge Chief.

A quick email to Jeff confirmed the patch Michael obtained is indeed authentic and apparently one of two known to exist. The other one is in Jeff's collection, and he sent me pictures of it to share. Below is a picture of the prototype next to the released version.

Jeff's prototype includes a Standard Pennant Company label on the reverse, just like the released version:

As with the Chanco chenille prototype, the handwritten numbers "12/19" on the reverse of the patch would seem to indicate that more examples of the patch exist:

A prior version of the Standard Pennant Company web site explains the numbers have a different significance:
While technology has enabled us to automate part of our production, many of our chenille items are still "handmade" by experienced personnel that consistently reproduce every required detail. All operators identify their own letters with pride. (Check for the operator number on the back).
I expect that since the prototype Michael now has was intended to be archived and never expected to leave the premises, so no label was ever attached. I confirmed by email with Conley Williams that the prototype 463 C-3 was indeed part of the sample set he purchased from SPC in 1995 and later sold in a group of Virginia items.

If this was the second chenille prototype for Kecoughtan Lodge it would be cataloged as 463-YC2, but it's not. In his reply to my inquiry about this patch Jeff Godby revealed another chenille prototype previously unknown to me; one for the Kecoughtan C-2. That's a story for a subsequent article. For now just know that this one will be listed on my web site as 463-YC3.

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