Welcome to the ABA! Bell Talk Forums Small Bells Found with metaldetector – please help identify

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    • #11012
      sykickvision
      Participant

      I found this bell (I think it’s a bell anyway, it LOOKS like a bell to me) while metaldetecting behind my office in central florida.
      I think it’s made of brass or bronze, at any rate – it’s heavy for it’s size.
      What’s most striking to me is that the artwork on it appears to be chiseled in by hand – and that the images on it don’t really appear to be completed. It looks like caveman artwork, or either not a very talented artist. I’ve went over the entire thing numerous times with a magnifying glass searching for some sort of lettering but can’t find anything.
      There is no evidence inside the bell of any clapper ever being attached, nor any provision for one being attached. This was a cast bell, as the seam line from the mold is visible on the inside, and also around the top near the handle.

      Here are the pictures:
      http://whlaptops.com/bell1.jpg

      http://whlaptops.com/bell2.jpg

      Any help would be greatly appreciated!

    • #14250
      hjlong
      Member

      This is a small Chinese Gong. By its appearance it was probably imported in the 1920s or 1930s as more modern ones are brass with less deep engraving. The patina suggests that yours may be bronze rather than brass. These were usually hung in a scroll work Teak Wood Frame and served as a servant call bell.
      Harry Long, MD

    • #14251
      sykickvision
      Participant

      Gong? Gong brings to mind the traditional image of three-foot wide suspended metal saucers being struck by a wooden mallet.
      I’d like to see a picture of one of these things in it’s entirety. I plan on sending this item to my father (who loves old things like this) and if I can provide him a rough sketch of what it was in it’s original form, I’m almost certain that he would duplicate it in his woodshop.
      Was it a common practice to hand-engrave these images? Quite honestly, they don’t look completed to me. But then again, I work on laptops – not antique bells.

    • #14252
      Garry
      Participant

      Actually, I believe the term ‘GONG’ refers mostly to the type of bell that you strike on the side, versus having a clapper inside.

      The most common one is the traditional plate style that is hung vertically as you describe, true, but two other styles also exist; the “bowl” type that were often seen in a stack such as in the orthodox churches or hung in a descending size row, and “Bossed” type which are rather like the symbols you see in a band that the drummer uses.

      As Harry mentioned, these were mostly used in the Asian countries and I believe the earlier ones were often decorated by scribing marks into them.

      Typing “bell Gong” for example, into a google image search shows you quite a variety of bell type gongs. I saw one that was even triangular when I searched!

      Garry

    • #14253
      hjlong
      Member

      These Chinese gongs are hung in a teakwood stand and are struck with a brass mallet. They were popular in the US in the 1920s when there was great interest in anything Asian & exotic and were used as table call bells. Newer versions can be purchased today in any Chinatown gift store.
      Harry Long, MD

    • #14254
      Clochard
      Participant

      I can’t access your photos

    • #14255
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Sykickvision,

      Please repost your pictures. The message we now get says “Page Not Found.”

      Thanks,

      Carolyn
      Admin

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