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“Once I looked on e Bay, I realized they really took every opportunity to brand anything they could. Many of the pieces were mass produced, but the folk art is the stuff I am attracted to the most, like the aprons, banners, and ceremonial gowns that were hand-embroidered with the skull and bones.
Jeff and I both are morbid people, so we were drawn to that.” Of course, thanks to the Internet, most of the secret societies aren’t so secret anymore.
“Most Masonic Lodges today have a hard time repairing the roof of their Lodge or the air-conditioning system. As Masons, we just laugh at that.” AR8Jason doesn’t feel threatened by secret societies, and he has routinely bought and sold fraternal artifacts in venues like e Bay.
He says he likes “knowing the secrets you’re not supposed to know, without spending all the initiation fees some require in joining and going up through their orders.” For Etsy Blog editor in chief Alison Feldmann and her fiancé, the appeal of these antiques is less about unlocking mysteries than it is the Victorian aesthetic of the items, which are at once a little macabre (the skull and bones) and heart-warming (Odd Fellows symbols include interlocking hands and a trio of chain links for “Friendship, Love, and Truth”).
The American Revolutionary War, the Mexican-American War, and the Spanish-American War are also represented.