Match Safe made to look like a Keystone

     

This wonderful sterling silver match safe bears the Square and Compasses on the front and the initial cipher of the original owner on the back.  It has a trick opening lid that is opened by pushing the round button on the face of the safe.  Of course the most unique feature is its shape!  It is made to look like a Keystone, a symbol very familiar to York Rite Masons.  A description of the Keystone is below.

The keystone is placed in the center of an arch which preserves the others in their places, and secures the firmness and stability to the arch.  As it was formerly the custom of Operative Masons to place a peculiar mark on each stone of the building to designate the workman by whom it had been adjusted, so the Keystone was most likely to receive the most prominent mark, that of the superintendent of the structure.  Such is related to have occurred to that Keystone which plays so important a part in the legend of the Royal Arch Degree.  The objection has sometimes been made, that the arch was unknown in the time of Solomon.  But this objection has been completely laid to rest by the researches of antiquaries and travelers within a few years past.  Wilkinson discovered arches with regular keystones in the doorways of the tombs of Thebes, the construction of which he traced to the year 1540 B.C., or 460 years before the building of the Temple of Solomon.  And Dr. Clark asserts that the Cyclopean gallery of Tiryns exhibits lancet-shaped arches almost as old as the time of Abraham.  In fact, in the Solomonic era, the construction of the arch must have been known to the Dionysian Artificers, of whom, it is a freely received theory, many were present at the building of the Temple. 

 

         

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