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Pie Safe with Masonic Symbols
1840-1900
Unidentified
USA: Tennessee (probably)
Tulip poplar; tinned sheet iron; cherry
overall: 45 x 43 1/2 x 17 in.; 114.3 x 110.49 x 43.18 cm
Special Acquisitions Fund
79.4

Brown wooden pie safe. Rectangular top over one wide drawer above two cupboard doors; paneled ends; stiles extend to form legs. Each door has two tin panels. The tin panels are perforated or punched with a design of two Masonic arches. Each arch has a keystone at top and a square and compass above a G inside. At the top corners and between the arches are stars.


Cupboards with punched tin panels provided nineteenth-century kitchens with ventilated food "safes." Production of the tin plates centered on Knoxville, Tennessee and Wytheville, Virginia. Masonic symbols were a common design, along with stars, floral urns and compass-inscribed patterns. In Tennessee, the use of Masonic symbols as decoration was enhanced by the career of Andrew Jackson (1767-1845), seventh President of the United States. Jackson, a member of Harmony Lodge No. 1 of Nashville, also served as Grand Master of Tennessee from 1822 to 1824, and as Deputy Grand High Priest of the Grand Royal Arch Chapter.