Refectory Bell


On view at The Met Cloisters in Gallery 07

The bell is inscribed in Latin TINNIO PRANSVRIS CENATVRIS BIBITVRIS (“I ring for breakfast, dinner, and drinks”). 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.

Refectory Bell, Copper alloy, German

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Side 1