Late 1800s Bobbin Lace with Masonic Emblems

A framed section of antique bobbin lace incorporating Freemason symbols of the compass, square, and G within a decorative textile pattern in good condition. This is an interesting piece of historical memorabilia from the 1800s when secret societies once held greater power in some sectors of American life. This small section of bobbin lace prominently displays three major Masonic symbols that were repeated in the textile about every 3 inches. There is the compass (caliper or dividers) standing in front of the square (right angle ruler with scale) and a hanging G perfectly plumbed from the middle of the compass. The textile motifs also includes arrows pointing in the four directions and may well include other more subtle and esoteric symbols in the openwork pattern through number associations only meaningful to higher degree masons. And when the lace is not clearly framed, it is not surprising that many folks fail to even see the Masonic symbols at all.

This section of bobbin lace is held in its frame simply by wrapping loose ends around the back of the black board used to seat it. It is not glued or professionally fixed in place by any permanent method. Consequently, it can be easily removed and even re-framed if the new owner chooses to do so. As for particulars on this item, I am not a textile expert and so please take the following assessment with due caution. This lace appears to be continuous, hand-made bobbin lace of loose design on an off-white, very fine textile thread. It is not machine made since it contains nonlinear/nonbi-directional elements. The thread is very fine and may be cotton or linen (if any viewer can help indicate how to differentiate cotton from linen, do kindly drop me a note - thanks). For those who are also just learning, do take a look at Marla Mallett's website on lace - what a delightful and professional source of information.

Free Masonry is an old fraternal organization that once attracted many of America's founding fathers. Benjamin Franklin was elected Grand master of the Free Masons of Pennsylvania in 1734 and even George Washington once joined its ranks. A history of the society's branches, Grand Lodges and related events is well beyond this listing, thank goodness. However, if you are looking for rather unusual piece of textile memorabilia from the 19th Century, then this just might be the item for you. I've checked various on-line sources and references and have not found any other examples of Masonic lace, new or antique. As for the function of this lace, I can only speculate. It is border lace that may have been sewn onto Masonic clothing (aprons?) or used to accent coverings in a Grand Lodge, or even used to embellish the interior of a coffin or to accent a Masonic funeral service. If any viewer knows more about Masonic lace, again kindly drop me an email. Finally, this FRAMED ANTIQUE MASONIC LACE also comes with a satisfaction guarantee or you may return it using my return policy as noted below.

SIZE: The frame measures 8 by 6 inches while the section of lace is 6.5 inches long by 3 inches wide. As noted above, the lace is not fixed in the frame and instead is held in place by being folded over the black backing and so it may also be easily re-framed without any problems removing it. This framed section of lace is the perfect size for displaying on a wall, along a mantle or in a stand since it will certainly capture attention in most any setting.

CONDITION: This section of lace is in good condition with no tears or rips in the portion showing and visible. It is antique and so it also has a broad scattering of small 1/8 to 1/4 inch small yellowish-orange spots (iron water spots or stains) that might come out if one had it properly cleaned. These spots are not very visible when viewed from an arms length away but do become visible under strong light. And if the buyer is not completely satisfied, then he/she may return the framed lace for a refund (see our refund policy noted below).

SHIPPING: All US buyers select a shipping method from the choices given (USPS Parcel Post or Priority; see shipping menu options) for well packed USPS mail (insurance is INCLUDED in each amount for all US addresses). That is a $1 to $5 savings depending on where you live in the US. If these estimated flat rates are too much to your address, we will always refund the difference to you after you have received the item. All international buyers will also pay only actual shipping/insurance costs for all verifiable locations outside the continental US mainland (these costs will be determined upon receipt of your international address details).

RETURN POLICY: Satisfaction and peace of mind are guaranteed for all Docs Antiques listings -- please refer directly to our Service Pledge and our Return Policy for full details. And this means that if you are unhappy with your purchase, you may return the item undamaged by sending it back post marked within seven days of receipt for a refund (see terms of sale for full details, shipping and certain other fees are not refundable unless the item is misrepresented). Items damaged during shipping are covered by insurance and while this rarely happens because we double box, we will gladly help you file your claim should it ever be necessary. Of course, never send an item back that was damaged by shipping since that will void the original insurance. Instead, contact us for help and we will gladly assist.

PAYMENT OPTIONS: We accept checks on US Banks (no temporary checks, all checks must have 9 digit routing code; item ships after check fully clears), USPS money orders, PayPal or contact us with your verified address for more options. If you wish to use a credit card by way of PayPal, that option becomes available after you submit a Ruby Lane purchase order (see Terms of Sale for additional information). Once submitted, a PayPal icon will appear at the bottom of this listing and then you may proceed from there if you wish to pay via PayPal. Thanks for looking and do come back and visit again when you have the time.

Item ID: RL209.a336


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