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Masonic Armchair
Maker not marked
England or France
Beech, silk, paint
overall: 50-1/2"h x 29"w x 25"d
Loaned by the Grand Lodge of Masons in Massachusetts

Masonic Worshipful Master's arm chair; carved wood with oval back; light blue silk covered seat and arms. Hand-painted Masonic symbols on back include a temple, square and compasses, and Masonic working tools.

The Master presides over the lodge and, when it is in session, he sits in a special chair placed at the eastern end of the room. From this seat, he runs the meetings and has the final word over the lodge's actions. Probably used by the Master, this chair's back is painted with an array of Masonic symbols. In the center, a compass surrounds the earth, offering a reminder to "keep within compass" or to moderate desires. For further information, see Newell, Aimee, et.al., "Curiosities of the Craft: Treasures from the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts Collection", 2013, p. 78-79.