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Masonic Master Mason Apron
ca. 1825
Maker not marked
USA: New York City (probably)
silk embroidery on silk
overall: 17-3/4"h x 15"w
Gift of the Buffalo Consistory, Valley of Buffalo, New York, Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite, Northern Masonic Jurisdiction, USA
2005.043.3

Masonic Master Mason apron with rectangular body with rounded corners and rounded false flap. Faded peach pleated silk ribbon trim on body and forming flap. Remnants of silk ribbon ties. Embroidered on flap is a delta or triangle with sawtooth border and all-seeing eye at center. There is a flower to each side. Embroidered on the body is a central arch on top of two columns with keystone at center, three steps to columns with mosaic pavement in between and three candlestands. Below the arch is a square and compasses, sun, moon and stars. At left of arch is a hand holding a quill, a ladder and a level. At right is a temple with crossed quills, a key and a plumb. Flowering vine border.


In the late 1700s and early 1800s performing skillful needlework was considered a valuable female accomplishment. Embroidered on silk fabric, this luxurious apron may have been made by a young female relative of its original owner. This apron exhibits the kind of refined sewing skills taught to young women and girls whose families educated their children at private female academies. “The Badge of a Freemason: Masonic Aprons from the Collection,” March 2016-March 2017