Hi Garry. You have a bell that was designed and made by Mrs. A.S.C. Forbes between 1924-1940 at her foundry in Los Angeles. To start with It was made to acknowledge the work of Fr. Serra, and sold as what it is, a souniver. Thousands of them were made and sold in almost all the missions and gift shops in California at that time. Mrs. Forbes died in 1950 and so did all the charming things she made. They come in the natural finish, as the one you have and in a highly polished version. One of these highly polished bell is in the Carmel Mission in CA. The guides tell visitors that it “IS” FATHER SERRA’S ALTAR BELL and he used it during mass. Mrs. Forbes named this bell FATHER SERRA’S ALTAR BELL, thats the offical sales name. Some one gave this bell to the mission and the name got missused, missunderstood, or perhaps just to attract visitor attention. They are very nice and a conversion item. I really hope you enjoy this bell.
Other than the information above nothing else is known about them. A short note on Fr. Serra,Hi founded the first nine missions in CA. About his travels; the distance from mission Carmel (his home church in northern CA) to San Diego is about 486 miles, from San Diego to Loreto (in Baja California) is about 758 miles. then a boat trip to the main land and than about 1200+ miles to Mexico City (by modern day highway milage chart).
His entire trip was several months, we know how long he was in Mexico City and how long the boat ride was, so that leaves land distance. One way he would have had to walk 814 miles a month, 203 miles per week or 29 miles per day, this comes out to 3.7 mph for eight hours, seven days a week. To complicate things we know about every 4 days he rested. NO, he did not walk that trip he rode a horse or donkey. He did not have his Frobes Altar bell with him. If you want more info not bell related maxk@cox.net