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Maker not marked
Paint on silk, cotton
overall: 16"h x 15-1/8"w
Museum Purchase through the generosity of Mrs. Stuart F. Brown, H. Eugene Mason, 32º and Sarah Kennerly in memory of Fred C. Rogers
Masonic Royal Arch apron with rounded body and rounded false flap. Red-orange fringe applied along the sides, bottom and bottom of flap. Cream silk front with silver-tone sequins along edges. Painted on the flap is a gold seal of Solomon symbol with G in the center and tube beads stitched around the outside to form glory rays. The body is painted with a central gold arch that reads "Holiness to the Lord." The arch has a keystone and is supported by columns. Blue and red curtains hang from inside the arch. The columns are wrapped with green leafy garlands (possibly acacia). In between the columns is a gold delta or triangle with a G in the middle and sequins applied around the outside. Below this are three male figures wearing robes, aprons and hats. Each figure holds a scepter. They stand on a mosaic pavement with four steps to the green ground. At center front are crossed pick, shovel and a third tool. To the left of the archway are gold emblems of an urn on top of an ark and a keystone with "HTWSSTKS." To the right of the archway are gold emblems of an ark with cherubim on top and a square and quadrant with sun in the center. Lined with red cotton. Top edge is bound with peach silk ribbon.
The realism and rich detail exhibited in the painting on this apron suggest that it may have been drawn and colored by a practiced, professional artist. Along with symbols of the Royal Arch degree, the unknown artist showed three Masons wearing the regalia of Royal Arch officers: King, High Priest and Scribe. Their regalia includes red-trimmed aprons in a size and shape similar to this one. For further information, see Newell, Aimee E., "The Badge of a Freemason," 2015, p. 128.