The Common Gavel Set From Jerusalem

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The Common Gavel is one of the working tools of the Entered Apprentice Mason.  It is made use of by the Operative Mason to break off the corners of the rough ashlar, and thus fit it the better for the builder's use, and is therefore adopted as a symbol in Speculative Masonry, to admonish us of the duty of divesting our hearts and consciences of the vices and superfluities of life, thereby fitting our minds as living stones for that spiritual building, that house made not with hands, eternal in the heavens.  It borrows its name from its shape, being that of the gable or gavel end of a house; and this word again comes from the German gipfel, a summit, top, or peak -- the idea of a pointed extremity being common to all...   The true form of the gavel is that of the stonemason's hammer.   It is to be made with a cutting edge, that it may be used to break off the corners of rough stones, an operation which could never be effected by the common hammer or mallet.  The gavel thus shaped will give, when looked at in front, the exact representation of the gavel or gable end of a house, whence, as has been already said, the name is derived.   The gavel of the Master is also called a Hiram, because, like the architect, it governs the Craft and keeps order in the Lodge, as he did in the Temple.    The gavel pictured above is circa 1920 and was a common souvenir item bought by Masons when traveling to the Holy Land as tourists.  The heads are made from the stone of King Solomon's Quarries and the handles are made of olive wood.  Zedekiah’s Cave is its Hebrew name, while King Solomon’s quarry is its name in English, and the Cave of the Kings is what it is called by the Arabs. Josephus Flavius, in his book Wars of the Jews (against the Romans), refers to the cave as the "Royal Caverns." The name originated from the “Melekeh" or "Royal" limestone quarried in it. This later led to the cave being called "King Solomon's Quarries."

Officer Station Gavels made from Rosewood

This is a beautiful hand-made set of Masonic Officer Station Gavels. They are made of rosewood and inlaid with ash depicting the symbols of each office... Worshipful Master, Senior Warden and Junior Warden.


This is a working tool set from an English Constitution.  It includes the skirret, the pencil and the compasses. 

The skirret is a measure—one that is to ensure the foundation of a building is straight by laying down the string as a marker. It is related, symbolically, to the 24-inch gauge and the plumb rule, but has a specific connotation to the Third Degree. The main subject of the Third Degree is one’s mortality and immortality. The skirret represents the foundation of the way of life we are to follow as laid down to us by our Creator—keeping it on the straight and narrow, so to speak, using our Masonic principles. The other two tools of the degree follow naturally, and all three are interrelated. The pencil bears a relationship to the All-Seeing Eye of the Second Degree closing ceremony. But the pencil reminds us that not only does the Eye of the Almighty observe whether (and how) we follow the conduct symbolised by the skirret, He remembers what He observes. And the compasses symbolise what fate He has in store for us at the final hour, according what he has recorded (symbolised by the pencil) of our behaviour (symbolised by the skirret) throughout our existence in this Earthly life, during which we are to work with the tools of the other degrees and follow the principles of Freemasonry. Thus all three are symbols of our belief in the Creator and of an individual Mason’s religious faith.

We should allow the skirret, therefore, to remind us to start building our character on a proper foundation—namely, the many virtues of behaviour found in the Masonic ceremonies, and in the Holy Word of the Almighty. And we should allow this tool to remind us why we should do so—the end of our life shall end some day, and we should prepare now for what comes next.




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