George Washington Porcelain Masonic Bowl
The design on this Masonic bowl is based on examples of porcelain bowls made in Jingdezhen, China for the Western market. The original is dated 1775-1800 and is now on display at the Donald W. Reynolds Museum and Education Center at Mount Vernon.
The center of the bowl features a gilded husk chain on a blue band containing a blazing star inscribed with a gilded “G” and flanked by pillars on a checkered pavement. A stalk of wheat is placed atop the central reserve. Around the interior sides of the bowl are four symbols; the Sun, the Moon, seven stars, and clouds representing darkness.
The exterior sides of the bowl are decorated with four scenes: a Bible enclosed by a square and compasses flanked by beehives; symbols of a stonemason’s work including a trestle board with ink pot, feather brush, and compasses, rough ashlar with a frame saw and lube pots, and a perfect ashlar with a lewis or lifting ring; intertwined drafting tools including a protractor, hinged marking gauge, and parallel ruler; intertwined tools including a plumb and a level.
The porcelain bowl is 7” in diameter and 3 ½” tall with an enclosure featuring information about Masonry and the bowl itself.
Hand-decorated in Virginia.
View original from our Museum Collection; Masonic Punch Bowl