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Gavel stamped "Good Hope"
1825-1850
Maker not marked
USA: Massachusetts (probably)
Wood, bone
7-5/8"h x 2-3/4"w x 1-3/4"d
D.J. and Alice Shumway Nadeau Collection
2009.001

Gavel with cylindrical bone head, incised with two bands near center. Both ends of the head are incised with a group of four ovals, each with a dot in the center, forming a stylized flower. On one end, the words "Good Hope" are stamped or engraved above and below the symbol. On the other end, "G.H.D." is stamped or engraved above the symbol. Brown turned handle.


In Masonic ritual, the gavel—modeled on a stonemason’s hammer—serves as a reminder to Freemasons to divest their hearts of vice. Wielded by a lodge master, a gavel like this one represents his authority as the leader of his lodge. Practically, lodge masters used gavels to run meetings and maintain order.