Welcome to the ABA! Bell Talk Forums Small Bells Old Florentine Bell by Gorham Re: Re: Old Florentine Bell by Gorham


At the risk of being censured for blatant Plagiarism 8) I’d like to refer to page 132 of Elsinore Springer’s book “The Collector’s book of Bells”1972 edition.

American Silversmith Jegbez Gorham started producing bells in 1818, one of the favorites being the “old Florentine” masterpiece.

Elsinore quotes a letter “from the present day Gorham officials” of the time:

“… Concerning a bell marked: “old Florentine 042 Gorham” or records show this is a sliverplated bell, the base metal being bronze, which was a reproduction of an old Florentine bell originally made of bronze. These were first made by us in 1884 and were continued in production until 1916. Our records indicate that they were very popular around 1900.” They go on to say they can’t tell how many were reproduced but that the length of the run indicates a ‘goodly number’ were made.

Of particular interest to you may be the final paragraph of the letter:

“Our records also indicate that many of these were made with an ivory handle … with the rest of the parts made in Gorham silverplate or it may have a sliver plated handle on it.”

The photo shows a strong lozenge type ivory handle with a metal “crown” wrapped around it just above the hip of the bell. It doesn’t touch the bell though, there is a small gap of ivory between it and the bell. The photo is B&W so I can’t tell, but the crown is likely silver too. You didn’t mention that detail, but perhaps it’s there.

Hope that helps!