Our son and family purchased a home of a long-time antique collector. This G W Coffin bronze bell was left on the property in north central Missouri. The bell is in great shape- no chips or dings. The dimensions are 17.5 inches diameter, 18.5 inches from the rim to top of the yoke mount. The stylized yoke, whale, eel or sea serpent, is 39.5 inches from tail tip to tail tip. Overall dimension 35 inches from base to top of tail. I assume from the stylized yoke that this bell has a nautical background. Can anyone provide information on this type of bell?
This is not a run-of-the-mill Coffin. What a great piece of history to acquire with perhaps a Missouri River connection. It’s a steamboat bell and from the tang-top mounting I’d say before 1850. GW Coffin operated Buckeye from 1837 until the early 1860’s. Enter Buckeye Bell Foundry in the search (above right). There are a lot of postings. Display it in the house. Bells like this are a real temptation to thieves.
This is a beautiful Coffin Bell. It is probably the largest bell that was made by Coffin with a Tang yoke mounting. It is an important bell that should take a prominent position in your collection.
Harry Long, MD