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Masonic Apron
ca. 1800
J. Martin
USA: Connecticut
Watercolor, leather, silk
Overall: 12-3/4 in x 14-1/2 in
Loaned by the Grand Lodge of Masons in Massachusetts

Masonic Apron with rounded corners on body and rounded flap; white leather with red silk fringe and gilded painted border; on flap is rainbow with Royal Arch lettering; apron shows stars, moon, all-seeing eye and sun; in center: compasses with blue ribbon suspends "G" with arc below; at left: level, gauge and bugle; at right: mallet and trowel; below: coffin, crossed swords, ladder and beehive; silk backing.

Little is known about J. Martin, the artist who boldly signed his name on this apron, just under the compasses and quadrant arc at its center. He painted the emblems and border on the apron—designed to suggest a knotted fringe—with style and confidence. Based on the colors and symbols painted on it, Martin likely created this apron for a Freemason who participated in Royal Arch degrees.