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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: leather, glass, silver, metal
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
88.42.9

1/4 plate 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, Tabbert, Mark A., "American Freemasons: Three Centuries of Building Communities," 2005, p. 91.



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