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Early American Craftsmen Guild Certificate

Guild Membership Certificate issued to Edward Evans by the Master Plasterers Company of Philadelphia, March 12, 1804. 

The Master Plasterers Company charter was signed, and the company was created in 1804. The charter was signed by 17 plasterers representing the elite of the city's plastering trade. Among them were William Thackera, Jr., Peter Wolford, and William Jones, each being a plasterer of a major Philadelphia buildings.  

Edward Evans was likely the son of Isaiah Evans, who was listed as a "stucco plasterer" residing at 93 North Sixth Street in the 1800 Philadelphia Directory. The two likely worked together until 1808, when Isaiah died, and Edward's name begins to appear independently in Philadelphia directories.  

The top illustration features what seems to be a woman, perhaps a personification of Liberty, staring serenely at a globe showing the zodiac. The figure grasps an anchor while the globe rests on a pedestal that says, "Let Brotherly Love Continue," a phrase used by the Worshipful Company of Plasterers, an English guild for plastery. In the background, an ornate governmental building is pictured. 

The lower image seems to be of a plasterer's tools and trade. Centered is the coat of arms of the Worshipful Company of Plasterers which features a depiction of the main tools used in the craft. Above the coat of arms is an ornate bench with various plastery tools strewn about the table. On both sides are what seems to be unfinished projects or piecework as well as other tools.

The document is signed by Edward Evans, Secretary, and William Thackara, President, of the Mastery Plasters Company of Philadelphia. Thackara was a leading plasterer in Philadelphia and helped organize the first plasterer's guild in the city in 1804. As a plasterer, Thackara worked on Philadelphia's Congress Hall, the Bank of Philadelphia, the United States Capitol, and Independence Hall throughout his career.

Thackara and Evans led the guild throughout the early 1800s.

Condition Description
Slight tears on lower right. Toning throughout. Outline of area that used to bear a seal.