Welcome to the ABA! Bell Talk Forums General `Bell Stuff` Are these conestoga bells? Information please?

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    • #24351
      Sunflower
      Participant

      My 86 year old friend would very much like to learn information about these bells she obtain as a 12 year old girl. In searching the internet I THINK they might be conestoga bells. Can anyone direct me to a source of information on these bells? She has two sets of them, complete with the leather rigging strap. The two “vials” on the sides she believes were for holding tufts of horse hair/tail for decoration. I have no “bell” knowledge….I just found this site when searching the information for a source of information so anything you have to share would be appreciated.

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    • #24371
      Garry
      Participant

      Welcome to our Bell Site!
      You have a couple pretty fine pieces there!

      You don’t give the sizes, but judging from the one you are holding, I believe you have what are called “Saddle Chimes”. These would be mounted on the horse’s harp, usually with brads. If it was smaller, you would be looking at a horse swinger (mounts on the strap over the horse’s head). If larger then you would have a conestoga bell for the wagon mount.

      Do a google lookup for images of “saddle chimes” and see how close a match they are for yours! Let us know if my suggestion matches what you have, please!

      Thanks
      Garry

      • #24375
        Sunflower
        Participant

        Thanks so much for your response. I did as suggested and “saddle chimes” images do match the style of these bells. However, I was unable to find images that looked nearly as ornate as this set. Surely they have a story to tell. My friend will be quite tickled to have an identification name for her bells. I will get measurements. And in continuing to search for information about bells it seems that some have some sort of maker mark. I will look them over closer and see if I can find any other identifying information. Thanks again for sending me in the right direction! If anyone else out there has any further information, I’m all ears.

    • #24391
      Carolyn Whitlock
      Participant

      Picture of chimes with horse hair plumes from

        The Collectors Book of Bells

      by L. Elsinore Springer, published bu Crown Publishers, Inc., New York, N.Y., 1972

      Picture of Conestoga Wagon bells

        from

          The Collectors Book of Bells

        by L. Elsinore Springer, published bu Crown Publishers, Inc., New York, N.Y., 1972

        Click on each picture to enlarge it.

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      • #24398
        Sunflower
        Participant

        Thank you so much! I printed the pictures for my friend. The one with the plumes is not an exact match but very, very close. She has some horse hair we could put in for the plumes but we didn’t know what they were supposed to look like. Fun to know that it may have been used in parades, as the one in the Mayer Collection. At 86 my friend is still on the local library board and reads extensively so perhaps we can track down the book you reference. Thanks again for your help!

        • This reply was modified 4 years, 6 months ago by Sunflower.
    • #24501
      Sunflower
      Participant

      I have been contacted again by my 86 year old friend and she would like me to help her sell these bells. I have no knowledge in order to be able to place a value and I am not sure where this type of item is properly sold. I could place them on the ebay site but hate to do so without having any idea what the value would be. Can anyone assist me in where would be a good place to get an estimate on value and the best forum to advertise/sell them? Thank you.

    • #24502
      Carolyn Whitlock
      Participant

      Sunflower,

      If you send me your email address to coordinator@americanbell.org, I will send you a two-page article entitled “Disposing of a Bell Collection” that has helpful ideas and suggestions in it. The American Bell Association is an all-volunteer hobby organization. We do not appraise bells nor do we maintain a list of certified bell appraisers.

      Carolyn

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