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Watch Papers with Masonic Symbols
ca. 1825
Maker not marked
Place made not marked
Watercolor on paper
b: 2"dia; c: 1-3/4"h x 1-1/2"w; d: 1-3/4"dia; overall: a: 5-1/4"h x 5-1/4"w
Gift of Gertrude W. P. Godshalk
83.42a-d

a: 5 attached circles; b: circle with 4 red hearts c: X shaped, white and red, 2 hearts woven together, "LJS" on reverse; d: circular, white with ink drawing of man in cemetary Watch Papers with Masonic symbols; eight circles, (may have been watch paper or other jewelry) with Masonic and memorial designs; central circle has urn, willow, plinth, reading "C. E./ May Angels guard/ her sleeping dust" in watercolor; top circle has cut-work center in pink surrounded by roses and vines painted in pink and green; left circle has a square and compasses enclosing "G" with blue ribbon painted in watercolor; right circle has square and compasses and Bible surrounded by grapes and vines; lower circle has entwined triangles enclosing "E" with letters "UNO TRIO JUNCTO" in watercolor; a single circle has graveyard scene of a man with crutch, and child, mourning at a grave, in watercolor; single circle with orange-colored cut-work hearts; single circle formed from bands of pink and white cutwork; written on back of the circles that form the central section "Search the scriptures/ Heaven gives us friends/ To bless the present scene/ Removes them/ to prepare for the next."/ Young/ Oct 27th 1825/ "Lean not on earth,/ I will pierce thee to the heart;/ A broken reed, at best;/ But, oft, a spear;/On its sharp point, peace bleeds, /And hope expires."/Young/ Remember your friend/ March 26th 1820."


These small paper discs kept dust out of the delicate works of a pocket watch. The little paintings served another purpose--they were an intimate reminder of a family member who had died. In the early 1800s, some girls learned how to paint in watercolor. They often turned their talents to creating memorial pictures commemorating relations who had passed on. These tiny discs of paper are a small, personal form of this art.



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