1895 Engraved Burl Setting Maul Gavel

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This unusual Masonic Setting Maul was used as a gavel to conduct meetings at Richmond Lodge No. 66 in N.Y. state.  It is made of burl wood and has a 7 inch ebony handle.  The presentation engraved on the bottom reads:   "Presented by Issac Merrick to Richmond Lodge No. 66 - July 20, 5895 (1895).

The Setting Maul is a wooden hammer used by Operative Masons to set the stones in their proper positions in the mortar.   It is in Speculative Freemasonry a symbol, in the Third Degree, reminding us of the death of Hiram Abif, the Master Builder of the Temple, which is said to have been effected by this instrument.  The most important sentence in all of Masonry is uttered by Hiram just before he is struck down, "My life you can take, my integrity never."  In some Lodges it is improperly used by the Master as his gavel, from which it totally differs in form and symbolic signification.  The gavel is a symbol of order and decorum; the setting maul, of death by violence.

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