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Duke William's Independent Order of Odd Fellows Sign
Artist unidentified

Location: England

Date: c. 1840

Materials: Paint on wood

Dimensions: 29 3/4 × 15 1/2"

Credit: Gift of Kendra and Allan Daniel

Accession Number: 2015.1.21

Photo credit: José Andrés Ramírez

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Description

Both the American Freemasons and Odd Fellows are descended from English predecessors. Although the English and American branches continue to share many similarities in ritual, regalia, props, and procedures, some differences have evolved over the centuries. For instance, they may use different symbols or follow the rituals in a different order. It is sometimes difficult to ascribe a fraternal object as American or English. This sign, inscribed “Duke William,” is probably English. It is decorated with an early version of the Odd Fellows seal, which was devised in England. An 1856 directory of English Odd Fellows lodges lists one that met in Worcestershire at the “Duke William Inn.”

Stacy C. Hollander, "Duke William’s Independent Order of Odd Fellows Sign," 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.


Duke William's Independent Order of Odd Fellows Sign
Date: c. 1840
Artist:
Dimensions: 29 3/4 × 15 1/2"
Materials: Paint on wood
Credit Line: Gift of Kendra and Allan Daniel
(not assigned): England
Accession Number: 2015.1.21
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