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Masonic Tracing Board
1863
Unidentified
USA: Massachusetts
Oil on canvas
overall: 65 x 48 1/2 x 2 1/2 in.; 165.1 x 123.19 x 6.35 cm
Gift of Trinity Lodge, A.F. & A.M., Clinton, Massachusetts
97.007.1

Hand-painted tracing board, or Master's Carpet, illustrating symbols associated with Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft and Master Mason's degrees. At center is an archway and a winding staircase with mosaic pavement and three-step dais. In the foreground is an altar with three "lights" flanked by gilt pillars. The tracing board has various Blue Lodge symbols at sides, top and bottom, including anchor, beehive, winged hourglass, ladder, all-seeing eye and Euclid's 47th Problem.


Today, as in the past, Freemasonry employs symbols to represent its tenets and truths. Through rituals and lectures, these symbols are explained and passed on from brother to brother. Freemasons use tracing boards such as this one to display the symbols during instruction. Brother Levi Green commissioned this tracing board for Trinity Lodge in 1863.