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Masonic York Rite Ark Mariner Apron
Maker not marked
Watercolor on leather; silk
overall: 14-1/4"h x 19-1/2"w
Museum Purchase

Masonic York Rite Ark Mariner apron; shield-shaped body with rounded flap; white kidskin with faded light-blue ruffled silk edging; flap: dove in flight; under flap: circular vignette of a three-masted American sailing vessel; body: watercolor design of pair of pillars on mosaic pavement enclosing entwined triangle, compasses, square, plumb-level, trowel, gavel, sun, moon and seven stars; with all-seeing eye above; apron and flap bordered with blue vine-work.

Although Freemasonry draws on long-standing traditions, it is also influenced by trends. Masonic aprons reflect these trends. In the early 1800s a side degree related to the Royal Arch degrees, called the Ark Mariner degree, enjoyed popularity. Centered on the biblical story of Noah and the ark, this degree uses symbols such as an the ark and a dove in its ritual. You can see a dove carrying an olive leaf on the flap of this apron. “The Badge of a Freemason: Masonic Aprons from the Collection,” March 2016-March 2017

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