Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Cog Rattle

15th or 16th century
Height (Of handle and cog): 10 3/4 in (27.3 cm)
Width (Of frame): 9 1/16 in. (23 cm)
Depth: 28 9/16 in. (72.5 cm)
Credit Line:
Gift of Blumka Gallery, 1954
Accession Number:
Not on view
It was formerly the custom for the bells of Catholic churches to be silent during Holy Week, having (according to an old legend) "flown to Rome" for that period. Accordingly, the bells were replaced during the celebration of the Mass by another instrument, and this was the cog rattle - a noisemaker that produces a loud, rattling sound when whirled around its handle.
Blumka Gallery
Jayson Kerr Dobney, Bradley Strauchen-Scherer. Musical Instruments: Highlights of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. First Printing. @2015 by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. New York, 2015, p. 45, ill.

The New Grove Dictionary of Musical Instruments: vol 3 P-Z. @ Macmillan Publishers Limited 1980. London & New York, 1984, vol. 3, pg. 340, ill.

"Musical Instruments in The Metropolitan Museum." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin (1978), Vol. XXXV, No. 3, pg. 34-35, ill.

Musical Instruments of the Western World. McGraw Hill Book Company. New York, Toronto, 1967, pg. 52-53, fig. 5, ill.

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