Since I don’t collect books, maybe I should collect pins from Sherlockian societies. They don’t cost much, they’re easy to store and transport, they identify one with a group, and they carry happy memories.
Also, I already have a start! It’s a modest start, though. I only have the few pins pictured here, but I love to wear them.
The Tankerville Club pin, from the Cincinnati scion society I’ve belonged to since 1981, features a profile of Holmes and a hand of cards signifying the nature of the Canonical Tankerville Club as a card club. (The Tankerville is the only club mentioned twice in the Canon, in “The Five Orange Pips” and in “The Adventure of the Empty House.”)
The pin for the Illustrious Clients of Indianapolis, of which I’m also a member, is suitably regal. It also includes the club’s founding date – a nice touch! – and the iconic pipe and magnifying glass of the Master.
The Stormy Petrels of Maumee Bay pin features the eponymous bird of the group’s name, to which Holmes once compared Dr. Watson. (“You are the stormy of crime, Watson,” he says in “The Naval Treaty.”) This pin evokes a nice memory for me because I received it when I gave a keynote address to the group one January in honor of Holmes’s birthday.
The extraordinarily complex and beautiful Diogenes Club of Washington, D.C., pin brings back another fond memory of a talk. Michael Quigley presented me with a patch of this logo when I spoke at the inaugural luncheon meeting. Ann bought the pin earlier this year. She qualifies as a member of the group, which is made up of individual who have served their country in some official capacity.
My friend Bonnie MacBird, author of Art in the Blood and general bon vivant, gave me the Sherlock Breakfast Club last January during the Baker Street Irregulars & Friends Weekend in New York. That’s her group in Los Angeles. It’s nice to see Dr. Watson saluted through the presence of a bowler hat.
Now I need an Agra Treasurers pin from the Dayton group. Fortunately, they do exist. And so do dozens more pin designs from other groups. And now I’m on the hunt!