Initiation of a carbonaro
Initiation of a carbonaro
Foldout lithograph from Memoirs of the Secret Societies of the South of Italy, particularly the Carbonari: translated from the original m[anu]s[cript] (London: John Murray, 1821). The book has been erroneously attributed to the Piedmontese poet Giuseppe Bertoldi or the Danish-German adventurer Johannes Wit von Dörring; in fact, parts of it are an almost textual reproduction of certain manuscripts, unpublished at the time, by the British commander Richard Church, who spent several years after the Restoration in Neapolitan service. The copy at IISH formerly belonged to the Portland Masonic Library.
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The scene is like a Masonic lodge. Against the wall at the right are the Masters (with their hats), at the left, the Apprentices. At the back, under the portrait of Theobald, the patron saint of the Carbonari, are, from left to right, the Secretary, the Grand Master, and the Speaker. On the four chairs in front, are, from left to right, the First Assistant, the candidate, the Master of the Ceremonies, and the Second Assistant.