A couple months ago, I sent an ebay listing to Max Kurillo, an expert on Mexican-type Souvenir Bells. The bell came with a Certificate of Authenticity. I thought Max’s response should be shared. Max wrote:
…Neat old bell info you sent, I have noticed this bell before. Lets see what the owners say about it:
1) piece comes with a certificate of authenticity from a professor of South American art associate with a prestigious American univ. Questions: This certificate of autenticity tells us what, where it was cast? when it was cast? who cast it? perhaps it shows that it’s just an old bell. At least the owner should tell us who the professor or the university is.
2) possibility from Arizona, New Mexico or Calif.The certificate of authenticity should indicate where the bell came from! I have been to all the missions in Calif and have never seen a bell of this shape in or at any of the missions.
3) a rare large bell from circa 1580-1620, once again the certificate of authenticity should indicate the date.
I have sent them an email and asked for the lettering, no reply as yet. MY NOTES: this bell was made in a split mould, I do not think it was made in a bell foundry probably by an itinerant bell caster, since the fonts are of differnt sizes and styles and not aligned. When I get all the lettering and put it together we might determine the origion. This style and shape of bell is very much like the historic bells that were cast in New Mexico circa 1840-1860. We just need more information.