Welcome to the ABA! Bell Talk Forums Small Bells Baby Stuart bell

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    • #11656
      halanb
      Participant

      ABA members may recall a picture of this bell in the Bell Tower several years ago. That bell, and all the others that I had previously seen, had a gilt finish. This bell (5 in, 12 cm), which I obtained on eBay recently, is in the plain bronze that I prefer. It is a lost-wax casting with extremely fine details.

      Many figurine bells depict a genre type rather than a specific person. Even when the identity is known, the source of the design is often unknown. This is not the case here. It was clearly inspired by a portrait of the three eldest children of Charles I (Charles, James, Mary) by the court painter Anthony van Dyck.

    • #16158
      robfromcanada
      Participant

      It’s more likely that the bell maker got his inspiration from this 1635-6 Van Dyck portrait of baby Stuart. They are almost identical. Bell is silver plated. Photo is a postcard dated May 7, 1909.

    • #16156
      halanb
      Participant

      I imagine Rob is correct. I had not seen that portrait. Thanks for the input.

    • #16157
      Carolyn Whitlock
      Participant

      My Baby Stuart bell is like Alan’s. When I was a young adult, my mother tried to stimulate my interest in bell collecting by telling me she would reimburse me for any bell I found that I thought would make a good addition to the collection. When I found Baby Stuart at an antique show in April 1973, I was taken by the exquisite detail on the bell. I paid $55 for it, knowing that it was probably the most expensive bell in the collection. When I told my mother how much I had paid for it, she sucked the air out of the room! But, I’ve never regretted buying it! It is one of my favorite bells to this day.

      James II was born October 14, 1633, in London, England, and died September 16/17, 1701, in Saint-Germain, France. He was the King of England, Scotland, and Ireland from 1685 to 1688. He was Britain’s last [member of the House of] Stuart and last Catholic monarch. He granted religious minorities the right to worship. He was deposed by the Glorious Revolution. (Gale Encyclopedia of Biography: James II)

      He was brother and successor to Charles II. In the English Civil Wars, he escaped to the Netherlands (1648). After the Restoration (1660) he returned to England and became lord high admiral in the Anglo-Dutch Wars. He converted to Catholicism c. 1668, and he resigned in 1673 rather than take the Test Act oath. By 1678 his Catholicism had created a climate of hysteria about a Popish Plot to assassinate Charles and put James on the throne, and successive Parliaments sought to exclude him from succession. By the time Charles died (1685), James came to the throne with little opposition and strong support from the Anglicans. Rebellions caused him to fill the army and high offices with Roman Catholics and suspend a hostile Parliament. The birth of his son, a possible Catholic heir, brought about the Glorious Revolution in 1688, and he fled to France. In 1689 he landed in Ireland to regain his throne, but his army was defeated at the Battle of the Boyne, and he returned to exile in France. (Britannica Concise Encyclopedia: James II)

      As the young duke of York, James was surrendered (1646) to the parliamentary forces at the end of the first civil war, but he escaped (1648) to the Continent and served in the French (1652-55) and Spanish (1658) armies. At the Restoration (1660) he returned to England, married Anne Hyde, daughter of the 1st earl of Clarendon, and was made lord high admiral, in which capacity he served (1665, 1672) in the Dutch Wars. Charles II granted him sweeping proprietary rights in America, and the captured Dutch settlement New Amsterdam was renamed (1664) New York in his honor. (Columbia Encyclopedia: James II)

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