Antique Cross Bell
May 30, 2010 at 10:23 pm #11460GarryParticipant
Here’s an interesting bell I recently obtained. I know I have seen the design before, but haven’t re-found it yet in my books.
Anyone recognize it?
All non-metallic in construction, it’s a whopping 5 inches at the skirt and a good 8 inches high (3 inches without the handle).
Even the clapper is a brass/bronze bell.
I believe it to be bronze, though I admit I am not skilled enough to judge that for sure. The metal is a rougher darker look to the brass ones I have and doesn’t have the higher pitched ring I get out of the others.
I think the cross is of a Celtic nature. Starting at the top of the bell itself, it’s ringed by a series of 3/8 inch long oval lozenges, but they are not evenly gapped, indeed are not even evenly aligned on the horizontal plane. They bounce up and down, closer and further apart all the way around.
Below them is what appears to be well worn 2 inch long hanging leafy type plants but only the right half (as if it’s been cut vertically and placed against the wall. These also ‘bob’ up and down around the bell at different levels.
Where the ‘wall’ the plant is up against, there is instead a rope hanging down in a swag type arrangement leading to the next plant. The whole effect is quite interesting but hard to make out as it’s very very worn.
The inside and outside show a ‘white/green’ corrosion and there is one ‘rust spot’ inside. However it is on an interesting marking about finger width ending in a circular mark as if this had been placed on some sort of hanger for a number of years.
I can’t quite decide if this is a ‘faked’ reproduction piece or a genuinely old bell that had been hung on a hook in the barn or something.
I would be interested in your thoughts too!
May 30, 2010 at 10:50 pm #15831AnonymousInactive
Check out page 12 of The Bell Tower, March-April 2009. The cross on the bell in Figure 8 appears to be just like your bell.
May 31, 2010 at 1:44 am #15832GarryParticipant
I knew I had seen it before!
It is a very close match, and probably the one I was thinking of. The handle is pretty much an exact match, the base is of a different shape and has different decor on it. Some of the style elements do match parts of the other bells on the page, particularly the oval lozenges.
Can’t say I would be surprised to find that this is a ‘Mexican tourist’ bell – aka catch the gringo! Particularly given the apparent low quality of the design as if trying to fake age.
I still like it, and think it was a good buy, but it’s good to know that it is, what it is.
I believe I have seen the swags somewhere else before too, I am thinking perhaps in a photo or a drawing of a fancy ball room.
June 2, 2010 at 1:42 am #15830hjlong3Participant
This is a Mexican souvenir bell.
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