Welcome to the ABA! Bell Talk Forums Large Bells 3-tier Alter Bell

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    • #10810

      Garry has sent a picture of a 3-tier Alter Bell. He would like to know more about it. He says:

      Came from a barn of an estate in the maritimes. Was among a lot of church items from a church that closed down. What is the history behind such a bell? What church(s) use it? How? How is it struck? What does it represent?

      If you can help, please post a response. If you need help posting, please contact me at coordinator@americanbell.org. Please be sure to reference this post as from “Garry – Alter Bell” if you are going to send information to me. Thanks


      This inquiry was originally sent to the ABA’s Internet Coordinator. Responses are opinions of individuals based on their personal research and knowledge.

    • #13630
      Rita Walker

      You have a beautiful Altar Chime. I’m in my mid-eighties, and I remember when bells like those rested on the floor beside the altar in Catholic churches. They were struck with a leather-covered mallet at the time of the consecration of the bread/communion. The altar boys/acolytes would do the ringing, and there was a certain combination of three sequences played. At the sound of those bells, all heads would be bowed in reverence.
      Gradually this type of chime was set aside in favor of smaller bells that often consisted of 3 or 4 cup-shaped bells that were attached to a frame and they were rung by a swing of the hand. In most instances each bell had a triple clapper mechanism fitted up inside. That type is still being used in many Catholic churchs today.
      On another “note”….I might mention that I also remember elaborate sets of long Deagan tubular chimes that were attached to the church wall. They too would be struck with a padded mallet at the designated time.
      I hope I have helped shed some light on your treasure.

    • #13629

      Thank you very much!

      The information you gave is great and clears up a couple points of confusion for me.


    • #13631

      By the way, was the bell struck on the rim or the curve?

    • #24752

      Here’s the photo of this bell again!

      • This reply was modified 4 years, 1 month ago by Garry.
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    • #24862
      Neil Goeppinger

      The bell was struck just above the rim on the vertical side, not on the curved “shoulder”. — Neil Goeppinger

    • #24865

      Thanks Neil!
      That’s good to know. I believe most bells are struck about that same point to give maximum clarity in the vibrations too.


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