"The Magic Flute" - Bro. Alberti and the Frontispiece of the Libretto on the Occasion of the First Performance in the Year 1791 (Page 36).

Ornamental vase - top part

The dogs on the lid could be heralds and admonishers for the examinations the canditate has to pass. Wide-spread is the belief, that these animals, who are considered to be visionary, are able to announce death. As a symbol of loyality, the dog appears on antique and middle-aged memorial tablets. In ancient Egypt we find snakes at the graves, but also at the crown of the Pharaoh as an African poisonous viper, saving the souls from death. The snakes on this lid are usually interpreted as a hint to the masonic knotted cord. Inclinations, lust and desires shall be bound by this cord.

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