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The Green Tree: Highlights from the Collection of the Mutual Assurance Company of Philadelphia - April 2007
 
 
painting
 
Unknown Maker

Painted Wooden Parade Axe, c. 1850
Wood, 44 1/4 inches long
Inscribed on one side of the axe head within a gold ribbon,
“educate the orphan.”; on the other “visit the sick”
RS 6369


Since the publication of the exhibition catalogue we have discovered that this is in fact a ceremonial axe used by a fraternal and benevolent organization called the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. The inscriptions on each side of the blade are derived from the group’s valediction in which members are enjoined to “visit the sick, relieve the distressed, bury the dead, and educate the orphan.”



  


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