RICHLY ILLUSTRATED HISTORY OF THE SHRINERS, 1915
(SHRINERS) (HALL, E.J.). History of Aleppo Temple. Ancient Arabic Order Nobles of the Mystic Shrine. Boston: Hall Publishing Company, (1915). Two volumes. Folio (11 by 14 inches), original pictorial brown cloth gilt, pictorial endpapers. $1600.
First and only edition of this history of the Masonic order known as the Shriners, number 1483 of an unspecified limitation, richly illustrated with portraits of Shriners and images from Arabia and the Near East, many printed in color.
In 1870, Freemasons Walter M. Fleming, M.D., and actor William J. Florence discussed the idea of a new fraternity for Masons stressing fun and fellowship. Not long after, Florence was invited to a lavish party given by an Arabian diplomat, at the conclusion of which the guests became members of a secret society. Florence took copious notes and drawings at his initial viewing and on two other occasions, once in Algiers and once in Cairo. Back in New York, he showed his material to Fleming, and the two converted these ideas into what would become the Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine—now known by the more common name “Shriners.” Shriners International now covers nearly 200 temples (chapters) across North America, South America, Europe and Southeast Asia, and is best known for the Shriners Hospitals for Children it administers, and the red fezzes that members wear. Without two tipped-in plates: frontispiece for Volume I, and “The Pilgrimage to Mecca” opposite page 91.