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"Low 12" Bell with Masonic Symbols
ca. 1870
USA
Brass; wood; lead
overall: 9 x 8 1/2 x 7 in.; 22.86 x 21.59 x 17.78 cm
Gift of Union Lodge, Ancient Free & Accepted Masons, Dorchester, Massachusetts
78.52.3

Brass Masonic "Low 12" bell mounted on square wooden base with applied square and compasses on front; four round metal feet; brass hook on side to ring bell; lead finial (now broken).


This bell was used by Union Lodge in Dorchester, Massachusetts, to theatrically toll the hour of midnight during degree rituals. A clapper strikes the bell once during each revolution of the hand-operated crank. Eventually, some lodges replaced these mechanical bells with organists.



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