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Masonic Lodge Master
ca. 1855
Samuel Broadbent (1810-1880)
USA: New York, New York or USA: Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
Daguerreotype in case: glass, silver, leather, metal, gold leaf or gold-colored leaf
Closed: 1/2"h x 3-3/4"w x 4-3/4"d; open flat: 1/4"h x 7-1/2"w x 4-3/4"d
Special Acquisitions Fund

1/4-plate cased daguerreotype with seated portrait of Masonic lodge master. Subject wears regalia of blue silk sash with stars, apron edged with blue silk and jewel of office (square). He holds a gavel and wears a stovepipe style top hat. The image is tinted - blue regalia, pink cheeks. The daguerreotype is housed in a full case of leather, velvet, gilt, and glass.

An elected officer, the Worshipful Master presides over a Masonic lodge. Many objects in this image point to the subject’s role as Master of his lodge. In many jurisdictions, lodge masters wear a top hat, a symbol of their authority in the lodge. The man in this portrait holds a gavel, used to direct lodge meetings. He wears a badge of office in the shape of a Masonic symbol, the square, and an apron bearing the same symbol. In Freemasonry, a square symbolizes virtue and is the emblem of the lodge master. For further information, see Tabbert, Mark A., "American Freemasons: Three Centuries of Building Communities," 2005, p. 91.

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