Masonic Folk Art Ostrich Egg 

Commemorating Gen. George Washington

    

     

      

This is a most unusual and rare item--a folk art decorated ostrich egg dated 1852 worked in finely incised detail with an image of George Washington and an abundance of Masonic symbolism. The egg measures 8 inches high and about 4.5 inches in diameter.  The following words are engraved on the egg:  "General George Washington, Fredericksburg Virginia, 1752-1852, Lodge No. 4" There is an image of George Washington dressed in his Masonic regalia, a coffin at his feet, a checkered floor done with perspective, an obelisk, the sun, moon five-pointed stars, the All-Seeing Eye with its projecting rays, an American eagle, an hourglass, globe and some patriotic bunting.   All mounted on a wood block with an inset copper coin depicting the pyramid found on the back of the one dollar bill.  (I believe the base to be a recent addition to the piece).   The symbolism and dates suggest that this egg was commissioned to commemorate the 100th anniversary of George Washington's Masonic initiation into Fredericksburg Lodge No. 4 in Virginia, and the records of that Lodge are still in existence, present the following entries on the subject.  The first entry is thus:  "Nov. 4th, 1752.  This evening Mr. George Washington was initiated as an Entered Apprentice"; and the receipt of the entrance fee, amounting to 2.3s., was acknowledged.  On March 3 in the following year, "Mr. George Washington" is recorded as having been passed a Fellow Craft; and on August 4, same year, 1753, the record of the transactions of the evening states that "Mr. George Washington," and others whose names are mentioned, have been raised to the sublime Degree of Master Mason.  

This fabulous egg now belongs to Mr. Jerry Brent who collects anything associated with Fredericksburg, Virginia.  The egg is currently being exhibited at the Fredericksburg Area Museum along with objects owned by Fredericksburg Lodge No. 4.   It's a wonderful exhibit which includes George Washington's apron, the bible upon which he was initiated and a Gilbert Stuart painting.  Mr. Brent would love to hear from anyone who can provide additional history about this egg.  You can contact him at:  whoo74@yahoo.com
 

 

         

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