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Masonic York Rite Royal Arch Sword and Scabbard
ca. 1890
Mrs. J. F. Marshall
USA: Massachusetts, Boston
a: gilt metal; leather b: gilt metal; leather
Gift of Masonic Temple Association, Boston, Massachusetts
80.66.2a-b

Masonic York Rite Royal Arch Sword and Scabbard a: sword: gilt helmet pommel hilt with red leather-wrapped grip; crossguard with open-triangular finials and langet decorated with pick-axe, spade, and crow bar, symbols of Royal Arch masonry; blade: straight, double-edged diamond section, bright-etched "Mt. Sinai Chapter"; reverse, a hand and "Mrs. J. F./ Marshall/ Boston/ Mass." b: scabbard: red leather-covered metal, with gilt mounts.


Gilt cruciform hilt with a red leather-covered grip, the pommel in the form of a knight's helmet; and the crossguard langet decorated with a pickaxe, spade, and crow (crowbar). The red leather-covered metal scabbard has gilt mounts, and a stud is mounted on the top mount for suspending the sword from a baldric when worn. The double-edged blade is of diamond cross-section and decorated with bright-etched Royal Arch symbols. An etched panel reserve is inscribed "Mt. Sinai Chapter." The ricasso is marked "Mrs. J.F. Marshall Boston, Mass." Certain working tools of operative stonemasons have been chosen as symbols to teach lessons of morality for various degrees in several Masonic Rites. The pickax, spade, and crow are working tools adopted for performing ritural in a chapter of Royal Arch Masons. In America a chapter, or lodge of Royal Arch Masons is empowered to give the preparatory degrees of Mark, Past, and Most Excellent Master. The color scarlet, used on the leather-wrapped grip and scabbard, has been adopted as the symbolic color of Royal Arch Masonry. Mrs. Marshall, as well as a number of other such widows, continued to operate the regalia business founded by her husband. For further information, see Hamilton, John D. "Material Culture of the American Freemasons." Lexington, Mass.: Scottish Rite Masonic Museum and Library, Inc., 1994, page 156, 275.