Masonic Funerary

Because some fraternal organizations, notably the Masons, adopted symbols from ancient civilizations and combined religious features in their rituals, the motifs often carried over to members’ grave markers. Hollywood Cemetery contains several excellent examples of such art. The William H. Huddleston (died 1905) [Section F, Lot 18] marker incorporates ancient funerary imagery as well as Masonic symbolism. The ‘Compass and Square’ motif displayed on his marker is the most common Masonic emblem. The compass symbolizes creation and the spirit, while the square represents lawfulness; together they also represent the union of the sky and earth and judgment. The linked trefoil entablature symbolizes the Holy Trinity. An unadorned sphere, symbolizing eternity or unity, tops the marker. The unusual elephant head figures supporting the orb perhaps indicate remembrance of the deceased.

Photo by Cristie Wright

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