Collector’s Bell? Need Info
October 10, 2007 at 6:05 pm #10681Southern BellMember
I am new at this so bear with me…Thanks. I have found a bell. It is one I have never seen the like but I know one of you or more has. Let me describe it. If you want pictures I will have to e-mail them to anyone.
The bell is brass. About 4″ tall and about 3″ across. It has letters or words on it that looks like another language other than English. In fact it looks like ancient letters, maybe Assyrian? They remind me of the letters written on the wall for the Assyrian King, Belshazzar in the book of Daniel in the Bible. When translated looke like “ME’NE, ME’NE, TE’KEL, PARSIN”. They look ancient to me. Here are the letters;
A QUEME-TANGIT (? One I cannot make out) OCEM-MEAM-
It has pictures on it too, looks like at cat, flower symbols, a lion, a swan, tiny books (looks like) and dog?
October 29, 2007 at 9:35 pm #13311Carolyn WhitlockParticipant
This appears to be the bell only from a St. Mark’s bell. They are often hanging from an ornate wall bracket.
Here is what I could find about your bell online:
Source #1 (you may have already found this online at http://www.saint-mike.org/apologetics/QA/Answers/Faith_Spirituality/f0309130410.html
St Marks bell ? QUESTION from Kimberly on September 13, 2003
I have a rather intriging antique St Marks bell (the style identified from an out-of-date bell collectors book)which is an old monastery hallway bell. I am searching for the meaning these bells played in the everyday lives of the monastey. They all had the same Latin inscription around them: QUI ME TANGIT: VOCEM MEAM AUDIT. What part in faith and spirituality did the ringing of these bells play? Are they still used? Christ’s peace to you. Kimberly
ANSWER by John-Paul Ignatius, OLSM on September 19, 2003
The Latin phrase, QUI ME TANGIT: VOCEM MEAM AUDIT, roughly means I think, Whoever Touches Me Hears My Voice, and was usually found on a small bell used as a doorbell. This particular bell has a deep resinating sound that can be heard at a distance.
I am not sure, but such bells may have been used in hallways perhaps as a wakeup call for the monks or nuns; or as the final bell announcing the Grand Silence, perhaps. The Grand Silence is usually the period after Compline (Night Prayers) until after breakfast when silence is observed.
The bells in the Bell Tower are used to call the monks or nuns to prayers or to Mass.
As to how many monasteries use such bells for a doorbell or wakeup call, etc., I do not know. The monasteries I have been to will have a modern doorbell and the monks, if needed, use alarm clocks.
God Bless,?Bro. Ignatius Mary
Source #2 The Collectors Book of Bells by L. Elsinore Springer
“…another ecclesiastical type is seen in the ornately beautiful bells on brackets. These are associated with European monasteries and are characterized by Latin inscriptions and heavy rococo decorations often involving allegorical figures from the medieval bestiaries. As noted example of this type and one much sought after by collectors is the Saint Mark’s bell. Deeply carved musical figures decorate the body of the bell, intermingled with profuse scrolls and foliage, and a stylized griffin ornaments the bracket. Incised around two smooth bands is a twofold Latin inscription, which when translated reads:
Our Father who are in Heaven, the Lord be with thee and with thy spirit.
Most ecclesiastical bells afford the collector an opportunity to increase his appreciation of religious art as applied to metalwork. So many guides to religious symbolism are presently in print that it is a simple matter of find, for example, that choirs of angelic musicians encircling a bell were intended to symbolize eternal praise to God or that the eight points on a Maltese cross represent the eight Beatitudes.”
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