Q: I found three plates while cleaning out my parents' house. My mother collected them. They all say "Pittsburgh Commandery, No. 1 K.T." This one is from the Triennial in 1901. It has a backstamp for Knowles, Taylor & Knowles. Can you tell me something about this plate and its value? Who is the military officer pictured on it?
A: Your plate is a souvenir of the Knights Templar conclave held in Louisville, Kentucky, in 1901. The Knights Templar was a Christian organization formed during the Crusades to protect travelers on their way to Jerusalem. The group was originally called the Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Jesus Christ, or Knights of the Temple, because their headquarters was on the site of the Temple of King Solomon. The order died out by the early 14th century. The Order of Knights Templar that exists today is a Masonic order and is not directly connected to the ancient order. The 1901 plate pictures Marechal Francois-Joseph Lefebre (1755-1820). He supported Napoleon and was commander of the soldiers in Paris during the coup of 1799. In 1804 he became Marshal of France. His name is inscribed on the north side of the Arc de Triomphe. Knowles, Taylor & Knowles was founded in East Liverpool, Ohio, in 1853. The company merged with American Ceramic Corp. in 1928 and closed in 1934. Value of your plate: about $70.