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Masonic Royal Arch Apron
1850-1870
Unidentified
USA
Velvet, bullion, silk, cotton
overall: 18"h x 19-1/4"w x 1/8"d
Museum purchase
2014.033.9

Red velvet Masonic Royal Arch apron with rounded body and rounded flap. Flap is embroidered in gold with a triangle or delta with "EEE" in center and glory rays around it. The flap is trimmed with gold tape and gold bullion fringe. Body is embroidered in gold with an oak leaf and acorn wreath. In the center is a gold archway with columns and keystone. Striped curtains or drapes in blue, purple, red and cream are under the arch. Between the columns is the ark of the covenant, enbroidered in gold. The body of the apron is also trimmed with gold tape and gold bullion fringe. Lined with red cotton. Top edge is bound with red silk. Attached at the upper corners are red ties that end in tassels.


In addition to the many emblems that Masons use to teach the lessons of the different degrees to candidates, color also holds a symbolic place in Masonic ritual. Red, as exhibited in this embroidered velvet apron, is generally associated with the Royal Arch degrees. In these degrees the color red represents “ardor and zeal” as well as fire, “the symbol of the regeneration and purification of souls.” “The Badge of a Freemason: Masonic Aprons from the Collection,” March 2016-March 2017