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Masonic Master Mason Apron
Maker not marked
Ink on silk, linen
body: 14"h x 16-1/2"w
Gift of the Grand Lodge of A.F. & A.M. of Illinois

Off-white Masonic Master Mason apron with square body and rounded flap. Printed in blue with additional hand coloring. Printed on the flap is an all-seeing eye with glory rays and clouds. The eye is highlighted with dark brown. An arrangement of Masonic symbols is printed on the body. There are two columns, each with a figure on top. In between are three steps and a mosaic pavement. Symbols between the columns include: sun, moon, star with G, pair of hands, three candlestands and an open Bible with "St. John" at top of pages, and a square and compasses symbol laid on top. At lower left is an anchor. Along the bottom below the steps are a pickaxe, a coffin, a mallet or gavel, an hourglass, and a level. There are additional symbols outside the columns: seven stars, a ladder, a beehive, a trowel, an urn, a sword and a heart, and a hand holding a plumb line. A faded scalloped ribbon trim is applied to the edges of the apron's body and flap. Lined with coarse tan linen.

Engraver Abner Reed produced many aprons of this design. Printed on leather or silk, and typically highlighted with paint, these aprons were worn by Freemasons in New England and New York. For further information, see Newell, Aimee E., "The Badge of a Freemason," 2015, pp. 148-149 AND Blog post, December 16, 2010, http://nationalheritagemuseum.typepad.com/library_and_archives/2010/12/new-to-the-collection-an-apron-with-a-story.html AND Blog post, November 8, 2011 http://nationalheritagemuseum.typepad.com/library_and_archives/2011/11/a-new-connection-between-masonic-aprons.html

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