TheNorthernLight

/August2008

11

Today,thesecatalogsofferaninvaluableresource

tostudytheobjectsinthemuseum’scollection,as
wellastohelpguideourcollecting,alertingmuseum
stafftothetypesofitemsthatweremanufacturedbut
mightnotyetbepartofourcollection.

TheVanGorden-WilliamsLibrary&Archives

holdsmorethan130Masonicregaliacatalogsfrom
almost30differentcompanies.Thecatalogsrangein
datefromthe1860stothepresent.

Thereisasimilarselectionofnon-Masonicfrater-

nalcatalogsaswell.Inadditiontotheprintedcata-
logs,themuseumholdsover200drawingsoforiginal
artworkfromatleasttwocompanieswhichwereused
toproducetheprintedcatalogs.

Onewatercolordrawingshowsanelegantking’s

costumeinpurpleandyellowcompletewithcrown.
Thedrawingismarkedonthebottomwiththe
maker’sname,“TheCincinnatiRegaliaCompany.”

RemembertheLadies!

Justasinotherareasofthecountry,manyOhiowives
anddaughterssupportedthemembershipoftheir
husbandsandfathersinthelocallodges.Manypar-
ticipatedinMasonicauxiliarygroups,suchasOrder
oftheEasternStarandRainbowGirls.

ThefirstEasternStarchapterinOhiowaschar-

teredinMarch1869,butdidnotsurvive,perhapsdue
tothefactthattheGrandLodgeofOhiohadout-
lawedEasternStardegreesinthestate’slodgerooms
in1868.

Almost15yearslater,EasternStartookamore

permanenthold.In1883,LorraineChapterNo.1,
wasorganizedinColumbus,andotherchapterssoon
followed.In1889,anOESGrandChapterforOhio
wasestablished.

AroundthesametimethatEasternStarwastak-

ingholdinthestateinthe1880s,astrikingquilt,
nowintheNationalHeritageMuseumcollection,
wasbeingmade.

Thequilt’sblocksshowsolid-colorred,greenand

yellowMasonicsymbolsappliquéd(orapplied)toa
whitegroundfabric.Thecentralmotifineachblock
isasquareandcompasseswitha“G”inthecenter.

Eachblockalsoshowsfive-pointstars,possiblyin-

dicatinganEasternStarconnection,crescentmoons
andtriangleshapesthatmaybesimpledeltasymbols,
ormayhavebeenintendedtosymbolizetheMasonic
level.

Thecenterblockshowstwothree-stepladders.

Thebedcoveringisheavilyquiltedwithparallellines
andfeatherpatterns.TheMasonicsymbolscontinue
intheborderswithtrowelsatthecorners,andalter-
natingmauls,plumbsandlevelsalongtheedges.

Asecondquilt,nowinaprivatecollectionisvery

similartothisone,butshowsadifferentborderand
doesnothavetheladdermotifsinitscentralblock.

Unfortunately,wedonotknowwhomadeeither

quilt,althoughtheyarethoughttohavebeenmadein
Ohioduringthelate1800sorearly1900s.Both
quiltsshowarelationshiptomoretraditionalfloral
appliquéquiltsthatweremadeinOhiobetween1850
and1900.

Redandgreenwerepopularcolorsbeginningin

the1840s.QuiltscholarBarbaraBrackmansuggests
thatthiscolorschememayhavebeeninspiredbyna-
tureduetotheattractivecontrastbetweenredflowers
andtheirgreenleaves.

Aspartofitsbicentennialcelebration,theGrand

LodgeofOhioisplanningaspecialexhibitin
Columbus,OH,overtheweekendofOctober17-19.

TheNationalHeritageMuseumispleasedtolend

fiveobjectsfromitscollectiontothismini-exhibi-
tion,includingtheMaster’schairandthequiltdis-
cussedhere.

Themuseumcontinuestocollectobjectsanddoc-

umentsthattellthestoryofFreemasonryinevery
state.

Ifyouwouldliketodiscussadonationtoour

collection,pleasecontactAimeeNewell,Curatorof
Collection,byemailatanewell@monh.orgorby
phoneat781-457-4144.

NL

Masonic Applique

Quilt,  probably 

Ohio, 1880-1920.

Photo: David Bohl