Can anyone satisfy my curiosity about this bell?
September 8, 2016 at 9:16 am #24796
This is/was a nice ruby red bell without any makers mark that I can find. It is approximately 4.75x7in with the hanger imbedded in the handle with a cork, but the clapper is missing. It looks like there may have been something on top of the handle, and it has been ground down. The grinding indicates to me that it is not flashed but true red glass. Thoughts anyone?
September 8, 2016 at 9:26 am #24797
September 8, 2016 at 9:26 am #24800
September 11, 2016 at 7:08 pm #24805GarryParticipant
It’s an interesting piece, hopefully one of our members will recognize it, perhaps by the ‘style’ of the clapper mounting.
Personally, from what I see, I believe you likely have a general bell style (mold) possibly produced by a local glass company for a number of purposes, such as fundraising, souvenir for a town/industry/group function, that kind of thing. Not necessarily a bad thing, it indicates that you might find other examples – perhaps of different colors – that could help you identify it. From the photos the quality looks good.
I think the top is most likely lightly ground to rough it up then had a ‘cap’ glued to it (for the glue to have something to stick to), which has subsequently fallen off. The cap would likely be some sort of souvenir motif “town coat of arms, particular group’s logo, something like that) which would then be sold or presented.
Early glassware bells of high quality usually had a manufacturer’s mark embossed into the glass somewhere. Unfortunately later (post war) it seems that cost/savings phased that out to paper glue tags, which often fell off, or ‘hang tags’ (tied to the object) which were often removed or lost. So it becomes very difficult to identify the manufacturer in many cases.
Some things to look for;
1) is the color through out the glass or just a surface treatment? (you indicted that you think it’s uniform throughout the glass- which is good in most cases.)
2) is the glass pour itself uniform? No bubbles indicates a good pour technique. No or little ‘waviness’ in the glass indicates good quality. No seam lines indicates it isn’t pressed glass. That kind of thing.
3) are there special treatments? For example cased glass (two layers of different glass) indicates more effort therefore higher quality in most cases.
I would start by looking at some of the later model ‘Imperial Glass’ company’s bells. I think it looks similar to a couple of that company’s styles.
Hope that this helps!
I’ll keep an eye out to see how this thread progresses and look through some of my reference material to see if I can spot a similar item.
- This reply was modified 4 years ago by Garry.
September 12, 2016 at 9:28 am #24808
Thanks for your reply. I think the clapper mounting is cork because I can insert a pin into it. If it were clay or plaster, I don’t think I would be able to do this. Holding it up to a light, the handle looks like it has a hollow tear-drop area where it meets the shoulder. The handle looks like it may be applied as it has some rough areas at the connection.
There are a few bubbles, and a couple can be felt on the exterior of the chamber. It has a smooth appearance and good feel; but when holding it up to a light, there are wavy rings like “bad paint brush strokes” all the way up the chamber. Are these expansion rings as it expands as poured/blown? If it is pressed glass, a super excellent grinding job was done as I find no indication of mold lines.
Aha, checking my book Imperial Glass Encyclopedia vol. I on page 180 #482, it is quite similar to this bell. The description states that these Colonial Bells were off-hand, and “the clappers were secured with a cork fitting inside the handle.”
So the mystery remains, what was on top of the handle? 🙂
Thanks again, Ailene
September 17, 2016 at 2:21 pm #24813Carolyn WhitlockParticipant
I think I may have found a picture of your bell in Al Trinidad’s first book,
on page 88. On page 87, it says, “In 1957, Imperial made clear, colored, blown glass bells with hollow handles which used a cork to support a clear crystal clapper.”
Unfortunately, my scanner is not working at the moment so I can’t post the picture on page 88. The caption under the picture in Al’s book says, “Four Imperial Glass “Colonial” bells with hollow handles holding a cork to support a teardrop clapper, c. 1957. Left to right: Ruby, 4″ d. x 7 1/2″ h.; Burgundy, 4″ d. x 7 1/2″ h; Stiegel Green, 4 1/4″ d. x 6 3/4″ h.; Antique Blue, 3 3/4″ d. x 7 1/4″ h. $50-$75 ea.”
- Glass Bells
by A. A. Trinidad, Jr., was published by Schiffer Publishing Ltd, Atglen, PA, in 2001.
September 18, 2016 at 8:13 am #24814
Thank you Carolyn. Yes, I have the book, but I had not taken the time to go through all my books to search for it. My goal is to get all my bells out of storage, and then go through my books to update my catalog with book and page that I find matching items.
The Stiegel Green looks more like the one I have as far as shape goes. As these were off hand, no two would be exactly alike. Now I know what the clapper looked like! (I was picturing a wooden ball on a metal rod.) 🙂
The top of the handle definitely looks smooth. My picture shows that the top has been ground, is no longer smooth and has pits in it. I guess it will always remain a mystery as to what was on top.
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