I have a 1928 stuckstede church bell which weighs approximately 175-200 pounds.(not including cast cradle) It has raised letters across the front which take up the entire front of the bell. (Church 2nd bishops name, small American town name etc.) Are there alot of stuckstede embossed bells? Did stuckstede make silver bells as this one appears to be silver?
There were two Stuckstede bellfoundries in operation in Saint Louis in 1928, so please state the name exactly. That will be found near the shoulder of the bell, along with the city and probably the year.
Your bell is not silver, but bronze – a mixture of copper and tin. When tin predominates at the surface of the bell, it oxidizes slightly to form a grayish patina, which may seem silverish to you. (When copper predominates at the surface, its oxide is greenish. Some bronze bells have a gray-green appearance, indicating that neither metal predominates at the surface.)
What you have described as “across the front” is probably on the waist of the bell. This is a custom inscription, i.e., it was specifically requested by the purchaser of the bell, who probably paid a little bit extra for it. This is fairly common on bronze bells from almost all bellfoundries. Since each one is unique, a photo would be helpful. But if you can’t provide a photo, at least quote the inscription exactly, please.