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Masonic Knights Templar Hat with Box
ca. 1823
Maker not marked
USA: Massachusetts, Boston
a: Beaver pelt, wool, silk, leather, bullion, paper; b: cardboard, paper, ink; c: cardboard, paper, ink
a: H: 1-1/4" x L: 16" x W: 11-1/2" b: H: 1-3/4" x L: 17-3/4" x W: 13"
Loaned by the Grand Lodge of Masons in Massachusetts
GL2004.0138a-c

a: Black beaver chapeau-de-bras style ("fore and aft") hat . Hat is crescent shaped with black woven trim, black rosette cocade at top with bullion loop cord. b-c: Box bottom and lid are also crescent shaped to fit hat; bottom part has pink and green floral pattern paper. Lid is brown paper with goddess and cherub motif and yellow border; both lined with newspaper advertisements on interior.


In the early 1800s, Thomas Smith Webb, along with Masons in Rhode Island and Massachusetts, formed the first Knights Templar Commanderies in Providence and Boston. This hat, or chapeau-de-bras, worn by Sir Knight William Pierce Jr. is perhaps the earliest known piece from a Knights Templar uniform. Sir Knight Pierce was a member of Boston Commandery No. 2. Charles W. Byrnes donated both the hat and the hatbox to the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts museum in 1932. For further information, Blog post, April 3, 2020, https://nationalheritagemuseum.typepad.com/library_and_archives/2020/04/bicorne-hats-and-beavers.html