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#14187
BellSage
Participant

Looks like you have some good bells there.

I have about three hundred old crotals in my collection, some hundreds of years old (Asian), some from Europe and North America that are old, but not as ancient as the Chinese bells.

The wear, color, and design of your bells are consistent with old bells that I have studied. Chances are they are genuine.

If these came from eastern Canada, they are probably from Europe/British Isles. The shape and style suggest that too. The bell-shaped one is remiscent of tunic bells that were traded between Europeans and Africans several hundred years ago, though it’s hard to tell from a picture whether it is actually that kind of bell.

The crotals are commonly called rumblers in the U.K. and were probably brought over from the “Old World” starting in the early 16th century and increasing as traders and colonists ventured west over the Atlantic. The eastern seaboard was settled earlier than other parts of the continent (the B.C./Washington state area wasn’t significantly settled until after 1853).

You can increase the historical and monetary value of your bells by recording where and when they were found. Even a photo or simple map of where they were dug is helpful. I don’t know if the seller wants to divulge this, but even general information, if you can’t get specifics, will help historians, or a bell collector who might inherit your bells a decade or century down the road.

They don’t look like 20th century bells, more likely 19th or 18th, although close examination would be necessary to date them accurately.