January 26, 2012 at 3:16 pm #11976tangoman68Participant
I’ve got an evangelist bell which is perplexing me as it isn’t like one I’ve seen anywhere else. I’ve included a picture of it. I hope someone can shed a bit of light on these differences:
1. The bell seems to be made of Bronze instead of Brass. Is this unusual?
2. The vast majority of other examples I’ve seen are quite intricately pierced whereas mine is solid and fairly thick / crudely cast
3. There is a casting line down both sides of the bell inferring that it was made in two halves. I was under the impression that this was a very old way of casting a bell, however all I’ve read indicates that these bells were made in the c19th to mimic medieval bells.
My Bell is approx 4″ high and 3.5″ diameter.
I hope someone can give me more information on these bells as I’m intrigued!
January 26, 2012 at 6:39 pm #16809halanbParticipant
1. It could be bronze, but it is probably brass with a chemical patina to add the color.
2. They are found both pierced and unpierced, ranging from 2.5″ to 8″ in height. The better grade versions were often a lost-wax casting, more time-intensive and labor-intensive, so the selling price was higher.
3. The lower grade versions are sand cast, in a two-part mold, and generally made of brass. This method is much quicker and cheaper, hence a lower price, but the details are never as good as a lost-wax casting.
There is always a bulge in the metal (inside and outside) near the parting line where the two parts of the mold fit together. This bulge must be ground down, resulting in interrupted detail on both sides.
Pic 1 shows a page from the 1925 American distributor’s catalog of brass items made by Pearson Page (Birmingham, England). Pic 2 shows what they called The Apostle. This is probably the source of your bell, though they were later copied and re-copied by other foundries. PP offered them with a dull finish, a bright finish either plain or lacquered, and with various chemical patinas. The PP catalog cost for the 4″ version is shown as $3.60 (at a time when the average salary was about $1.00 per hour).
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