Welcome to the ABA! Bell Talk Forums Large Bells Can someone help me identify this bell, and how to clean and restore it?

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    • #25771
      ricksouth
      Participant

      This bell was purchased by my Grand dad in the late 50s in down-east Maine. It hung in the salt air for 60 years until we sold the place last year. I hope my photos and dimensions give adequate information.
      It was completely green with filigree so I assumed it was brass or bronze. I used a poultice of flour vinegar and salt (repeated 5 or 6 times) to remove the bulk of it. I could see it wasn’t brassy in color so I used an abrasive (sandpaper) on the very top and the metal appears silver! It is non-magnetic (though the clapper is cast iron). I’m pretty sure it’s non-ferrous since it has been wetted repeatedly on there’s no sign of oxidization.

      What material is this? Is it Pewter? I had thought only brass, bronze or copper got the green filigree. Am I incorrect?

      Thanks for any help you can provide.

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    • #25797
      nightflier51
      Participant

      Looks like a David Caughlan bell. His bells had a fancy design on the shoulder of his bells. He made station bells and ships bells as well as others. It still could be bronze under the silver color. Sometimes bronze had a nickel color. I’m just guess and no expert.

    • #25817
      Neil Goeppinger
      Participant

      I read the opinion that the bell could be by David Caughlan, but to my knowledge he never made bells as small as 8 1/2 inch diameter. I have visited with more than one descendent of David Caughlan, and none of them have referred to his making small bells. I do not recognize the ornamentation on this bell when compared to other bells made by large bell founders in the U.S., but most of them did not make bells this small. At 8 1/2 inch diameter, this could well be a pewter bell. Large bells such as church, fire and school bells were not made of pewter. The top of the bell is very silver in color which is consistent with pewter. It looks to shiny to be the tin working its way to the surface of a bronze bell after 80 years of oxidation, unless it had been polished. It is a beautiful bell and was likely used to announce the start and end of Sunday School classes, given its inscription. I am sorry, but I have no idea who made the bell.

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