The Tear Badge
Salvidor Dali and the Tear Badge
The particular “Tear” worn by Members of the Company has a most interesting history.
The original belonged to the late Mr Hugh Millais, great-grandson of the pre-Raphaelite painter, Sir Joshua Millais.
Salvidor Dali gave Hugh Millais a Platinum Tear that he had made to be worn round the neck on a chain. He told him that, “With this tear you need never cry again”.
Hugh Millais and the late Past Master Hugh Berridge had been close friends for decades. In consequence when the Guild was formed and needed a badge, Mr Millais agreed to allow the Tear to be copied by Garrards (the Crown Jewellers) and to be used by the Livery. The Water Conservators are honoured to be able to use such a beautiful, evocative symbol as their badge.
Only members and honorary members of the Company are entitled to wear the Company badge consisting of the Tear suspended on a ribbon. There are various combinations of ribbon/tear denoting the member’s position in the Company.
Journeyman: Plain Blue ribbon with a silver bar inscribed “Journeyman” and a silver tear.
Freeman: Plain blue ribbon and silver tear;
Liveryman: Blue and silver ribbon with silver tear;
Master, Wardens and Court Assistant: Blue and gold Ribbon with a gold Bouget and a gold Tear;
Past Master: Blue and gold ribbon with a gold bar inscribed “Master (year)” and gold tear;
The badge must be worn at all official and ceremonial occasions. It is worn on the right lapel. Failure to wear the badge on an appropriate occasion or wearing it on the wrong lapel will result in the Clerk levying a fine of £10.