October 1, 2008 at 1:29 am #10979GarryParticipant
Here is a sample of an English Figural bell (although the subject may not be English itself).
I picked it up to represent a sample of this type of bell for my collection, and would be interested in knowing if anyone could identify the figure.
My research shows that they were of two basic types, Famous person (Queen Mary for example) or representative of a class (scullery maid for example). I am not sure which this is, I don’t see any examples in my book of this particular design for the Queens, so I suspect it’s representative of a matriarch or some such. It would take someone with more knowledge of the Victorian style of Dresses to identify it from what she is wearing, I believe.
The bell itself is Brass, 4 inches high and 2 inches in diameter. It is stamped on the inside where the clapper meets the top “made in England”. It has an Iron ball clapper, not the more rarer brass legs. The designs on the dress strike me as more French than English though. (But that is simply a guess on my part.)
I think that the words “made in england” puts it at a later period of manufacture, probably the late 1900’s. The casting is heavy and thick so I would guess it to be about 1980.
The grey corrosion is a bit perplexing. It’s not as noticeable as in the photo. But only the clapper holds a magnet. Perhaps it’s a bit older than I actually think and zinc or some such is leaching out?
Opinions? Comments? Ideas?
October 17, 2008 at 3:55 am #14140Carolyn WhitlockParticipant
This is a fairly common bell that has been cast in many reproductions. You will find her identified in several articles on figurine bells as an 18th century English lady wearing farthingale, with the high collar, puffed sleeves, and fan typical of the period. If you are interested in figural bells, you’ll find 14 articles from the Bell Tower that you can buy. You’ll find how to do that at https://www.americanbell.org/files/080424_belltower_index.pdf
If you haven’t yet invested in the books by Donna Baker: Collectible Bells and More Collectible Bells, you may want to look into it. They are great for identification and information about bells. They show up on ebay from time to time and can be found on all the websites of the well-known bookstores. Occasionally, you can find them in antique shops, too.
October 20, 2008 at 4:04 pm #14141Rita WalkerMember
Good Morning, Just looked at the pictures of your lady figurine bell. I have the identical bell. At the time I purchased it I identified her as an English lady wearing a COURT GOWN. However I considered that identification a bit questionable. I found her pictured in the 1925 Pearson-Page catalog of London. They called her “Henry III”. I found that impossible to believe because she looks all the world like a lady to me. She is carrying a fan in her right hand. Mine is 4″ tall, and marked “England” on the edge. The original clapper is a totally round solid brass ball with a hole in its tab top to accommodate the “s” shape hanging wire. That whole thing is attached to a “U” shaped wire that is cast up inside.
If you are a member of A.B.A. and/or one of it’s local Chapters you will surely find someone who can help you to identify a myriad of bells. These folks have been collecting and researching for years, and are always ready to share their knowledge.
October 22, 2008 at 6:16 pm #14142GarryParticipant
Rita and Carolyn,
Yes, Rita, I am a member and am looking forward to the information I have been getting from the experts available – such as yourself – at this site!
I do have one of Donna’s books, I didn’t realize there was a sequel! I’ll be on the look out for it. This bell did not appear in her first one.
I agree that this figure looks feminine to me, but that said, the way they dress the actors in period movies it wouldn’t surprise me to be wrong.
You have given me some leads to work on, I’ll let you know if I discover anything new!
October 26, 2008 at 4:51 pm #14143Denise KushnerParticipant
This bell is very common. It is a more recent reproduction of an older bell which has better detail. It is a great bell however and dear to me as the older one is the first lady bell I ever bought. It appears for sale on Ebay quite often.
- You must be logged in to reply to this topic.