I have a bell that I bought in New Oxford, Pa.; the dealer’s tag stated it was a “German brass painted bell.” The miniature painting of a lakeside church with tall trees with nearby sailboats and alpine mountains in the background is well executed with a detailed depth of field (I have tried to upload the photos, but can’t even understand my camera’s software, sorry). The writing on the back is hard to make out, but after careful examination with a magnifier the best I can suggest is Gellskapoller (the name of the lakeside village?) and the initials or artist signature seem to be a backwards E and a B together and the year ’93. This bell measures 2 1/2 inches tall and 2 1/8 inches wide (looking at the front) and 1 1/2 inches deep (from front to back). It has clapper that is longer than the bell itself and is rectangular.
A friend of mine just solved the mystery of the place depicted on this bell – it is Tellskapelle, on Lake Lucerne in Switzerland. He sent me a photo he found online that matches the scene exactly , except it has a steamboat instead of the sailboats on the bell. It was a very exciting evening for me, thanks to my friend, and his sleuthing makes this bell, obviously created as a souvenir of Tellskapelle (Tell’s Chapel, to honor William Tell) in 1893, a more meaningful object and interesting antique. I would be interested in other bells like this, that were 19th century souvenirs. – Debbie B.