Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Refectory Bell

13th century
Copper alloy
9 13/16 × 13 3/4 in., 50 lb. (24.9 × 35 cm, 22.7 kg)
Metalwork-Copper alloy
Credit Line:
The Cloisters Collection, 2014
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Cloisters in Gallery 7
The bell is inscribed in Latin TINNIO PRANSVRIS CENATVRIS BIBITVRIS (“I ring for breakfast, drinks and dinner”). Smaller than the taller and more familiar church bell, this rare refectory bell evokes the sounds of life in the medieval cloister. In addition to the inscription, the bell is decorated with roundels depicting two angels, a winged lion and the Agnus Dei, or Lamb of God. The shape is without precedent in surviving bells, but it can be seen in a mid-thirteenth-century manuscript depicting bell ringing and other music making.
Inscription: An inscription is cast in relief below the roundels:
The House of Hohenzollern? (sold 2014) ; [ Sotheby's, London(23 January, 2014, lot 81)]
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "One Hundred Forty-Fourth Annual Report of the Trustees for the Fiscal Year July 1, 2013 through June 30, 2014." Annual Report of the Trustees of the Metropolitan Museum of Art 144 (2014). p. 46.

Of Royal and Noble Descent. London: Sotheby's, January 23, 2014. no. 81, pp. 54–55.

Bagnoli, Martina, ed. A Feast for the Senses: Art and Experience in Medieval Europe. Baltimore: Walters Art Museum, 2016. no. 35, p. 169.

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