1840's Walnut Inlaid Masonic Salt Box

This early Masonic salt box has three of the working tools inlaid into the front of the box.  Its original purpose of course was to store salt, but salt also has a symbolic significance in Freemasonry.

In the Helvetian or Swiss instructions, salt is added to corn, wine, and oil as one of the elements of consecration, because it is a symbol of the wisdom and learning which should characterize a Freemason's Lodge.  When the foundation-stone of a Lodge is laid, the Helvetian ceremonial directs that it shall be sprinkled with salt, and this formula be used:  "May this undertaking, contrived by wisdom, be executed in strength and adorned with beauty, so that it may be a house where peace, harmony, and brotherly love shall perpetually reign."

This is but carrying out the ancient instructions of Leviticus (ii, 13), "And every oblation of thy meat offering shalt thou season with salt; neither shalt thou suffer the salt of the covenant of thy God to be lacking from thy meat offering: with all thine offerings thou shalt offer salt."  Significant as are the references in the Bible to salt, as the rubbing of salt on the new-born child (Ezekiel xvi, 4); the allusions in Mark (ix,49,50), "For every one shall be salted with fire and every sacrifice shall be salted with salt.  Salt is good: but if salt has lost its saltness, wherewith will ye season it?  Have salt in yourselves, and have peace one with another."  Jesus in Matthew (v,13) "Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt has lost its savour, wherewith shall it be salted?  It is henceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men."  Salt to the ancient world was pronounced a substance dear to the gods (Plato, Timaeus) and to break bread and eat salt at a meal with others were symbols of plighted faith and loyalty.

A special "Thanks" from Brother Al Lohman, a 30 year collector and 30+ year Masonic Lodge member from Wisconsin.  Al trades on eBay under the User ID  "lochlohman"

 

         

Museum Home Page     Phoenixmasonry Home Page

Copyrighted 1999 - 2011   Phoenixmasonry, Inc.      The Fine Print