Turkish crescent

early 19th century

Object Place: Belgium


Height 17.8 cm, width 40 cm, depth 30.5 cm (Height 70 1/16 in., width 15 3/4 in., depth 12 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Brass, maple

On View

Musical Instrument Gallery (Gallery 103D)


Musical Instruments



A brass pole with wooden handle and sliding sleeve. Surmounted by a small crescent, below which is a small sphere and four bells. Further below there are (1) a round, pavilion-shaped perforated piece with twelve bells on the lower rim; (2) a large crescent with six bells; (3) a sphere with five-pointed star inside the crescent; and (4) a ferrule with a helical spring fixed to the pole; the sliding sleeve has a short spring attached to its top. The instrument is carried at the head of a band and assists in keeping the marching rhythm. The lower end of the pole is inserted into a leather pocket attached to a shoulder belt to facilitate the holding. The sliding sleeve is moved up and down, striking against the spring and causing the jingles and bells to jingle; hence the affectionate name bestowed upon it by the British ‘Tommies.’


Francis W. Galpin (1858-1945), Hatfield Regis, England; 1916, sold by Francis W. Galpin to William Lindsey (1858-1922), Boston, Massachusetts; 1916, gift of William Lindsey, in memory of his daughter, Leslie Lindsey Mason, to the MFA. (Accession Date: October 5, 1916)

Credit Line

Leslie Lindsey Mason Collection