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Masonic Master Mason Apron
1820-1840
Unidentified
USA
paint on silk, paint; linen
ON BOARD: 22-1/2"h x 18"w; overall: 16"h x 15-1/4"w
Found in Collection
2008.028

White silk Masonic apron with rounded body and scalloped flap. Body and flap are both trimmed with light blue pleated ribbon. Top edge is bound with the same light blue ribbon. Replacement ties of white ribbon are stitched at both top corners. Flap and body are both lined with white cotton or linen fabric. Body of apron is painted with an arrangement of Masonic symbols. Along the top is a flowering vine with green leaves and red flowers; the vine hangs down both sides, ending in a set of scales on one side and in a circle between two lines symbol on the other side. In the center at bottom are three gold steps with checkered flooring (in blue and gold). There are three gold columns across the center; two have blue globes on top. Above the center column is a blue G. Between the columns are a gold sun and a gold moon and stars. Blue symbols between the columns are Jacob's ladder, a sword and heart, an altar and an undetermined symbol. At the center of the checkered flooring is a closed book.


The vibrant gold, red, green and blue color scheme used in the decoration of this apron helps date it to the early 1800s when the colorful “fancy” style enjoyed popularity in the decorative arts. “Fancy” style objects display bold colors and patterns that were intended to elicit emotions and expand the imagination. Through 1840 or so, this style found expression in all types of decorative arts—furniture, military goods, paintings, household items, and this Masonic apron. “The Badge of a Freemason: Masonic Aprons from the Collection,” March 2016-March 2017