Re: Re: So, what is this worth? (Part 245)
Two significant bells listed while I was at the 2014 ABA Convention:
245a – Old Cast Iron & Brass Kicking Mule Desk Bell w/ Original Paint
In my picture of the bottom, there seems to be a screw holding the top pieces on. It’s not a screw head, and what appears to be a slot is actually a little ridge. It’s a rivet, and in terms of age, it makes a difference.
Uncommon old painted cast iron and lacquered brass desk bell, 5” tall on a mounded 3 ¾” x 2 ¾” grass-textured base. A mule noses upward, a ball at a hind foot; pushing down the button on top causes the mule to buck, the ball striking the edge of the bell and producing a resounding and lingering tone. The iron parts – mule, base, and tree – have the original gold paint. Unsigned. Excellent condition; there is a little linear loss of lacquer on the bell; everything else – paint, detail, and bell action — is fine.
There are later reproductions of this bell, but I assume this is an original.
245b – Very rare early moving Harlequin hotel desk bell
This is a wonderful hotel desk bell representing a harlequin playing violin, by pushing his right arm the bell rings , it need some cleaning. It is made of bronze or another metal, very heavy, and in a very good condition, don’t know if the stick in his right hand is still the original, may one of the most beautiful desk bell I have ever seen.
This type of mechanical bell is known as a squeezer.
A movable lever (right hand) is pulled toward a fixed lever (left hand). See picture 4.
The bell rings either on the forward stroke or the return stroke.
Whatever the stick/wire in the right hand is, presumably the original object has been broken and the replacement is not original to the bell. The last two pictures show another example of this bell, also partially broken, but the remaining remnant in the right hand looks like it would have been the handle of a violin bow, which would make sense.