Welcome to the ABA! Bell Talk Forums Small Bells So, what is this worth? Re: Re: So, what is this worth? (Part 183)


183a – Brass Lady Bell Queen French Dress Lady Butterfly Net Table Ornament Vintage 5″+
This stunning vintage brass lady bell in the form of a French lady with a butterfly net comes in excellent condition, she weighs 620g unboxed! She measures approx: 2.8″ inches (7.4) long, 5.4″ inches (13.6cm) high by 2.8″ inches (7.4cm) wide.

This figure is usually identified as Marie Antoinette, with a butterfly net, dressed for pretend rural activities at Le Hameau.

Wikipedia: The Hameau de la Reine (The Queen’s Hamlet) is a rustic retreat in the park of the Château de Versailles built for Marie Antoinette in 1783 near the Petit Trianon in the Yvelines, France. It served as a private meeting place for the Queen and her closest friends, a place of leisure. Designed by the Queen’s favoured architect, Richard Mique and with the help of the painter Hubert Robert, it contained a meadowland with lakes and streams, a classical Temple of Love on an island with fragrant shrubs and flowers, an octagonal belvedere, with a neighbouring grotto and cascade. There are also various buildings in a rustic or vernacular style, inspired by Norman or Flemish designed, situated around an irregular pond fed by a stream that turned the mill wheel. The building scheme included a farmhouse, (the farm was to produce milk and eggs for the queen), a dairy, a dovecote, a boudoir, a barn that was burned down during the French Revolution, a mill and a tower in the form of a lighthouse. Each building is decorated with a garden, an orchard or a flower garden. The largest and most famous of these houses is the “Queen’s House” that is connected to the Billiard house by a wooden gallery, at the center of the village. A working farm was close to the idyllic, fantasy-like setting of the Queen’s Hamlet. Such model farms operating under principles espoused by the Physiocrats, were fashionable among the French aristocracy at the time. One primary purpose of the hameau was to add to the ambiance of the Petit Trianon, giving the illusion that it was deep in the countryside rather than within the confines of Versailles. The rooms at the hameau allowed for more intimacy than the grand salons at Versailles or at the Petit Trianon. Abandoned after the French Revolution, it was renovated in the late 1990s and is open to the public.


It’s big, it’s shiny, it has a lot of pictures, but little else in its favor and nothing to justify the price paid.
It’s a fairly popular bell, enough to warrant making and selling inferior copies such as this one.
Note the shallow details, especially on the left side of the face, and the hair.
There is no separation between the right arm and the body.
See the following pictures for what a decent example should look like.

Both examples are sand casting, but the second has sharper details and probably hand chasing to restore some of the details smoothed away by the sand casting process.


183b – Attractive Lady in Period Dress Brass Hand Bell
Very attractive lady in period dress holding what could be a butterfly net in her hand
Height approx. 5½ inches ( 14 cms )
Weight approx. 26 ozs ( 740 grams )

This listing was also on British eBay, and finished just three hours after the item above.
Fewer pictures, somewhat better details (note separation of right arm and body),
and a more realistic price.



183c – Antique brass lady bell with a wedding veil or a queen possibly French
An exquisite old bell in the form of a lady with her wedding veil, but also she could be a Queen,
with a lovely old well rubbed and soooo smoooth tiara /veil detail.
Quite rare and beautifully made, approx. 4 inches in height, with a beautiful ringing sound.
I have been told it may be a very old french bell,but im not sure as there are no hallmarks/initials.
I bought it a few years ago in Athens from an antique dealer in the foothills of THE ACROPOLIS.
She must have a story to tell, if only we knew.

This lost wax bell is far superior to either of the two items above.
Note that the details flow smoothly and uninterrupted around the sides of the figure.
A sand casting will always have some smoothing in these areas, even if some is restored by hand chasing.
Good quality clapper with a fairly deep wear pattern.