Hey folks, I bought this a few days ago from a reliable dealer of early European items. I thought it was interesting and the price was low, so I lept! Does anyone have any idea of how old it may be, where it originates from and what it’s use was? The casting is rough, but is also very worn and with a heavy patina. Quite nice. There is an old repair inside. This bell measures 6.5″ high and weighs 1.75 lbs. The metal is thick and has a wonderful reverberation.
This appears to be a variant of the Evangelist Bell. The skirt lists Marcus with his symbol, the lion. Does it also have Matheus, Lucas, & Johannes? The handle is a bagpiper who wears a Fez rather than one of the usual handles (Jesus, Pelican, loop, etc.). The clapper is not original and is attached via a spring to a fenestrated disk that is soldered into the shoulder of the bell. It is heavy and probably dates from the early 1900s. Most of these bells were cast in Belgium as souvenir bells. I’m still taken by the handle… it appears to be a Turkish Bagpiper.
Harry Long, MD
I have this same piper as the handle of a Hemony Bell.
Granted, the pipers are not identical (meaning appear to be made by the same mold) but the positioning of the hands, pipes, and legs are similar enough to make me think they are meant to be the same figure. The faces are slightly different. The one on Salvatorparadise’s bell has slightly Asian-looking eyes whereas the piper on the Hemony appears more European looking. Sorry I couldn’t get the close-up better in focus.