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Roll-Top Desk with Masonic Symbols
Maker not researched
USA: New York, Whitehall
Various woods, glass, metal
overall: 63 1/8 x 42 x 22 in.; 160.3375 x 106.68 x 55.88 cm
Special Acquisitions Fund

Masonic Roll-Top Desk (in two parts, upper section with mirror slides back to be removed); cherry inlaid with different woods; mirror in middle; Masonic symbols on door in base; carved free-standing columns; a: desk; b-c: two drawers at top; d-e: two middle drawers; f-h: three drawers at bottom; i: key to hinged door at bottom.

Much of the exuberant inlay on this desk is ornamental, but some of it may have held special meaning for the desk’s owner. He was said to have been a lumberman, and he may have also been a Freemason. The desk’s drawers appear to be decorated with cut logs. The door at the bottom of the desk features Masonic imagery, including an inlaid decoration depicting a lodge master and another of the kind of altar found in a lodge. For more information, see Hamilton, John D., "Material Culture of American Freemasons," 1994, p. 65; and blog post, December 22, 2015 http://nationalheritagemuseum.typepad.com/library_and_archives/2015/12/an-intriguing-new-york-desk.html

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