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Fraternal Pot of Incense
Artist unidentified

Location: United States

Date: 1875–1900

Materials: Paint and gold leaf on wood

Dimensions: 12 × 8 1/2" diam.

Credit: Gift of Kendra and Allan Daniel

Accession Number: 2015.1.174

Photo credit: José Andrés Ramírez

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Description

The use of incense as a symbol is common among American fraternal groups, although it is sometimes purely ceremonial, without a direct connection to the ritual’s teachings. In Freemasonry, the pot of incense is part of the Third, or Master Mason, Degree, where it “typifies the pure heart from which prayers and aspirations arise, as incense does . . . as an acceptable sacrifice to the Deity.” The Odd Fellows use incense as part of their “altar of incense” symbol, signifying the “simplicity of that true worship . . . to act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with God.” These brightly painted pots show some of the variety of detail available from regalia companies. 
 

Stacy C. Hollander, "Two Fraternal Pots of Incense," exhibition label for Mystery and Benevolence: Masonic and Odd Fellows Folk Art from the Kendra and Allan Daniel Collection. Stacy C. Hollander, curator. New York: American Folk Art Museum, 2016.


Fraternal Pot of Incense
Date: 1875–1900
Artist:
Dimensions: 12 × 8 1/2" diam.
Materials: Paint and gold leaf on wood
Credit Line: Gift of Kendra and Allan Daniel
(not assigned): United States
Accession Number: 2015.1.174
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