Thursday, June 24, 2010

Pythian Heraldry??

All photos by Maria A. Dering

Since the early 1980s, I have been fascinated by a building in my Upper West Side Manhattan neighborhood: formerly the Pythian Temple, now a condominium. If you would like a larger image of the plaque, please post a comment here or a note on Facebook.

Today, I photographed the exterior details and present them here. The question: are these examples of heraldry (ways to identify oneself and group), decoration, symbols, or something else? What do you think? Please comment.

above the main entrance

Pharoanic figures, maybe based on Ramses II

Horus, perhaps?

asps and lotus

ankh, asp, etc.

At a glance:


  1. Bill Hailey recorded "Rock Around the Clock" in this building during it's days as a Decca recording studio. What you call Pharoanic figures are Assyrian heads of ancient Mesopotamia, not Egypt. What you call Horus, is a vulture. The vulture represented Upper Egypt. What you call an asp is a cobra. The cobra represented Lower Egypt. Both are depicted on the funerary mask of King Tut.

  2. Thank you for your comments, especially for the info about the Decca studio. I love this building! I also appreciate your corrections, though with Pythian or Masonic symbolism, I think that the depictions can be open to interpretation, perhaps. I do agree that the heads are Assyrian.