The gong itself is metal with an Eastern Sunburst design covering the front. There is a brass shield on the base, however, there is no inscription on it.
This one came from the home of William H. Venning Esq., the first Inspector of Fisheries for New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. He was appointed around the time of Confederation and wrote his first report in 1868, so this dinner gong likely dates from the mid to late 19th century. The mallet handle is also made of matching oak and the top is soft. When you hit the gong, it makes a sound louder than you might expect from something this small. The sound is different depending on where you hit the gong.
I wonder if they had different tones for different types of food? Hmmmm....I know you wouldn't have to hit the gong twice to call me for dinner!