This staff has a form and style that strongly suggest it was used by a fraternal group; however, it is not marked with any specific symbols or inscriptions, so we are left to wonder who originally used it. Several catalogs for nineteenth-century regalia companies illustrate scepters that would have been carried by various characters, often kings, in the rituals. Such sources—regalia catalogs, old photographs, published histories and monitors (ritual guidebooks), and other ephemera—help to identify and interpret fraternal objects that are removed from their original contexts.
Stacy C. Hollander, "Fraternal Staff," 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.