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  19TH CENTURY CEREMONIAL FRATERNAL AXE, PROBABLY IMPROVED ORDER OF THE REDMEN (IOOF), CA 1870-1880
Dimensions (inches): 19.5" w x 45" h x 1.5" (base is 5")
Description:
Carved and painted wooden ceremonial axe, made circa 1870-1880, probably for the IORM (Improved Order of Redmen). This is a patriotic fraternal organization, founded in Baltimore in 1834, which is said to have its roots in the Sons of Liberty. The Redmen took this name and adopted an according manner of dress because the Sons of Liberty dressed as Mohawk Indians when they participated in the Boston Tea Party. Like most of the 19th century fraternal groups (the Odd Fellows, the Junior Order of United American Mechanics, the Patriotic Order Sons of America, etc.), the IORM still exists, but its membership pales by comparison to the organization's elder days.

Some of the best 19th century folk art comes from the ritual equipment of these fraternal groups, who had all manner of symbols that were represented in painted wood, metal, and cloth, among other media. This axe is no exception, with its wonderful form, original painted surface, and excellent patination.

Mount: A hole was drilled in the base of the axe by a former owner so that it could be mounted as artwork at an interesting angle on a metal base. There is also a wire hoop that was affixed at some point in its history so that it could be hung as decoration in an IORM hall.

Condition: Excellent.
   
Primary Color: red, black, grey, gray
Earliest Date: 1870
Latest Date: 1880
For Sale Status: Available
Price $2,200
E-mail: info@jeffbridgman.com
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