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Abraham Sebring Armstrong (1822-1879)
ca. 1870
Maker not marked
USA: Indiana
overall: 3-7/8"h x 2-7/8"w
Museum Purchase

Tintype portrait of bearded Masonic Master of a lodge, seated, wearing Masonic collar with Master's jewel, a decorated Masonic apron, and holds a gavel in his hand. The tintype is mounted on a card printed with an ornamental design in red with an oval opening. On reverse, "Sebring / Armstrong" is handwritten in pencil or charcoal.

In the 1870s, carpenter Abraham Sebring Armstrong (1822-1879) served as Master of George Washington Lodge No. 325 in Bristol, Indiana. His leadership earned the respect of his brethren; they elected him to the position repeatedly—in 1871, 1874, and 1876. This portrait, which shows him in an exuberantly decorated apron, holding a gavel, and wearing a Master’s jewel commemorated his leadership and also memorialized him—Armstrong died suddenly of “lung fever” in 1879.

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