August 19, 2013 at 3:24 am #12310
I am reasonable certain that there has been a discussion of the Capri / San Michele/ lucky bells. HOWEVER, I have tried several searches and have not been successful. Can someone please advise me what terminology to use?
August 22, 2013 at 7:09 am #17605
I have no idea what these bells are. Can you tell us something about them, please? Are they metal or porcelain? Are they souvenir bells or artisan bells? Are they a series or individual bells? A picture of one would be helpful.
I’ve have looked at the Bell Tower Directory (on the main site) in the past but don’t remember seeing any articles about such bells there but that doesn’t mean there aren’t such articles available from the ABA historian.
Wishing you luck!
August 23, 2013 at 3:29 am #17606
It’s good to visit with you again. I guess I am REALLY losing my mind. I was certain I had read about the Capri Bells via this forum–apparently not. These are small metal bells (probably no more than 1″ tall) from the Isle of Capri, aka San Michele bells or Lucky (Luchy) San Michele bells. They reportedly gained some degree of popularity during WWII with aviators who were stationed on the island. Apparently, there was some type of legend that a “poor shepherd boy lost his flock and was guided to their safe recovery by a vision or angel or something who gave him a small bell to place on the sheep so he would not lose them again.” Anyway, the aviators wore them supposedly to insure their safe return. Nice story. I am interested in what the original bells looked like. My research seems to be indicating that there are several different styles according to which company made them. I guess that this situation is similar to the Victory Bells from England.
I wish I had a picture to share–I WISH I had an original bell. This may prove to be another extended search as was the search for the Beatrix Potter Bells. By the way, I really wish I had never completed that set–they need to be polished so often 😯
Any ideas, leads, compassionate words will be appreciated.
August 24, 2013 at 7:41 pm #17607
I just went to bing.com and did a search for “Capri San Michele bell” and up came a page with quite a few photos of the different bells. You can see it at http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=Capri+San+Michele+bell&qpvt=Capri+San+Michele+bell&FORM=IGRE. Alan Burgdorf kindly referred me to http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_odkw=bell+capri&_osacat=0&_from=R40&_trksid=p2045573.m570.l1313&_nkw=bell+capri+michele&_sacat=0 to see more photos.
One person posted this description: The originals were made by Monks on the Isle of Capri, Italy, during 1944 and 1945. AAF pilots and crewmen wore these bells on their flight jacket lapels or as zipper pulls (this bell not recommended as a zipper pull) and it was thought to bring them good luck. Originals are expensive and getting hard to find.
August 24, 2013 at 7:54 pm #17608
You may want to check out: 57thBW, The “Lucky Little Bell of San Michele”
The bells come from a 15th century legend of St. Michele: A poor, barefoot Shepard boy had lost his sheep. It was his best friend and companion, all that he had in the world. The boy searched and searched for his sheep, fearing it has stumbled from the rocks into the sea. He heard a gentle tinkling from heaven and followed the sound. The boy saw a radiant light, St. Michele’s light, and there was his sheep with a beautiful bell around its neck. This was a gift to the boy, and to the island, now symbolizing a gift from heaven and a token of good fortune.
From the Isle of Capri come charming silver good luck bells with a four-leaf clover design on them and the inscription La Campanella della Fortuna San Michele.
These small silver bells were much prized by fliers of ‘World War II who were sent to Capri to rest from the hazards of their missions. According to the old jingle, the four leaf clover is a very fitting decoration for these little good luck bells:
“One leaf is for fame,
And one leaf for wealth,
And one for a faithful lover,
And one to bring you glorious health.” [/URL]
copyright 2008, 57th Bomb Wing Association
August 25, 2013 at 12:06 am #17609
Hi, it’s me again. I have seen those images of the reproduction bells, but I had not been successful in locating a vintage bell. I looked again at the sources that come up with an internet search; low and behold, I found a site that sells military memorabilia–they have a lucky Capri bell listed for $150. That’s a lot for a small bell–I’ll have to think on it for a day or so. At least I have now seen an old example of the Capri bell.
I’m still worried about my failing memory: I continue to think I read about that little bell on this venue.
Thanks for your assistance in this search, Carolyn.
December 30, 2016 at 1:12 pm #25070DevereauxParrishParticipant
Hello, I stumbled across your forum thread while researching family estate items. Amount other military metals and memorabilia, I have a Little Bell of San Michele. It is available for purchase.
December 30, 2016 at 1:35 pm #25071
January 7, 2017 at 1:06 am #25075
We have a section on this ‘Bell Talk’ Forum that allows people to list bells that they have for sale. There are Rules for Sellers that you should read before you “advertise” a bell for sale. You must list a price that you want for the bell. We do not accept statements of “Best Offer.” If you want an idea of how much your little bell is worth, I suggest you search for “Capri Bells” on ebay.
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