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Punch bowl

1941.1210 (RS213334)

Description

Porcelain punch bowl with gold and blue enamel grapevine border. Interior and exterior painted with various Masonic symbols, including sunburst in center bearing cipher "G".

Details

Label
"Cherished Possessions": Freemasonry was widespread in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, offering its members both fraternity and a touch of the exotic. Freemasonry played a pivotal role in the formation of this country. Washington, Jefferson, Franklin, Hamilton, and Madison were all members, as were many others of the nation's founders.<br/> This bowl belonged to Bostonian Thomas Dennie (1756-1842), a wine merchant and an officer of St. John's Lodge. The imagery on the bowl reflects Masonic ideals. The rough ashlar stone with tools on it symbolizes man's imperfection. The smooth ashlar nearby shows man's perfectability through virtuous education. Although the bowl was intended for punch, its symbols reminded users to drink in moderation.<br/>
Maker
unknown
Date
1780-1787
Location of origin
China
Material
enamel paint
enameling
gilding
hand-painted
porcelain
Object type
Food Service T&E; Serving Vessels
Descriptive terms
Bowl, Punch
Chinese export
enamel paint
enameling
Freemasonry (society)
gilding
hand-painted
Masonic
porcelain
punch bowls
Vessel, Drink Serving
Dimensions
4 3/8 (H), 11 (diameter) (inches)
Accession Number
1941.1210
Credit Line
Gift of Mrs. Charles P. Strong
GUSN
52585

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