November 18, 2009 at 2:53 am #11267
I am not sure how to place this one. If I didn’t see the handle, I’d say it’s just another example of a bell from India. It does show some age, but I can’t tell if it’s artificial or not (anyone out there know how to spot fake artificial aging?)
The bell is 3″ diameter x 2.5″ high
The handle adds another 4.5″ to the height.
The handle has a ‘lean’ to one side and the clapper’s hanger at least has been replaced by a wire (possibly the clapper too, but I don’t know enough to tell).
The bell is non magnetic everywhere and is richly engraved over all it’s surface with a fronds and a bird chirping head held high pattern repeating on a stippled background.
The top of the column for the handle (not well cast, off center at the base) has a tree trunk type design ending at what appears to be an aztec type depiction sitting below a feathered spray above in a back scratcher type form.
one side of the bell appears to be damaged as if it had been dropped or stored against something that has rubbed the design and actually put a small 1/8″ crack that does not go all the way through to the inside of the bell. As if it were starting to lift slightly.
Did I stumble across a fake or something interesting?
November 18, 2009 at 2:54 am #14955
Here is the bell in it’s entirety.
November 19, 2009 at 2:37 am #14954hjlong3Participant
This is not an Aztec bell but rather is Indian representing Brahma on the handle. Brahma was one of the three major gods of the Hindu religion including Brahma “The Creator”, Vishnu “The Preserver”, and Shiva “The Destroyer”. Brahma created a female alter ego, Gayatri (Saraswati) in order to create the world and the human race. He fell in love with her and in her embarassment, she grew five heads that faced away from Brahma to divert his attention. One of the heads was lost when Brahma lied to Vishnu and angered Shiva. The remaining four heads emanated the four Vedas.
Your bell appears rather modern and is decorated with carvings. Brass carving is a cottage industry in India and is used to decorate anything made of brass. This bell would be used during Hindu prayers by a worshiper. I have seen various versions of this bell, some with no carving and some with elaborate carving. A similar bell is often seen withthe Monkey Man, Hahnuman as a handle. Other handles have included the other Hindu Major gods and minor gods & godesses. These are popular tourist items in India.
Harry Long, MD
November 19, 2009 at 4:23 am #14953
Again you are a great source of information!
I suspected India but didn’t know the context. The only decoration similar to what I could make out were aztec ones hence my confusion.
This one looks like it has had a rough time of things though. Think it was artificially aged then?
November 21, 2009 at 8:09 pm #14952hjlong3Participant
This bell was crudely cast, but the patina appears to be natural oxidation of the brass.
November 23, 2009 at 5:06 pm #14957maxkurilloParticipant
Garry. It would only be a guess to conclude about the finish without seeing the bell, at least for me. You remarked that the clapper might have been replaced. the clapper seems to be quite detailed, but the wire connecting it is messy, look inside and see how the wire is connected to the bell this can be a good indication of how much rework has been done on the bell. Max Kurillo
November 23, 2009 at 7:33 pm #14956
Great Tips guys!
I will certainly have a closer look at the clapper hanging when I get home tonight, Max.
The bell is quite badly corroded but I don’t know enough to be able to tell if this was natural or induced.
The seller said they didn’t know either.
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