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Masonic York Rite Royal Arch Apron with Box
USA: Massachusetts, Boston (probably)
A: paint on silk; cotton; B: paper; ink
ON BOARD: 18"H X 17"W; box: 2.75 in x 10.5 in x 9 in; a: 18"h x 16"w
Museum Purchase

Masonic York Rite Royal Arch apron with box; a: Masonic York Rite Royal Arch apron with rounded body and double scallop flap; white silk with red (faded) ruffled edging; cotton backing; hand-painted central design of tesselated red and gold triangle, in the center of which is a tesselated green and gold circle, within which is a triangle (delta) bearing the Hebrew letters (in a Notaricon Kabbla cipher) for the word "Jehovah"; central device is enclosed by hand-painted swags of grape vines, across top and down both sides; floral spray across the base; b-c: box bottom and top, covered with brown paper; top inscribed in ink "John L. Phillips / Cambridgeport / Mass."; underside inscribed in pencil, in old script "J L Phillips / Cambridgeport / Mass / 1849 / by Wm. H. Ackers[t?] / when we moved to Cambridge."

This bold apron with an attention-getting red border and brightly ornamented center is similar to others most likely made in Massachusetts in the early 1800s for use in Royal Arch chapters. The painting of the symbols and surrounding garlands at the center is expertly done and was probably the work of a professional ornamental painter. “The Badge of a Freemason: Masonic Aprons from the Collection,” March 2016-March 2017

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