Half Bell – What am I?
November 15, 2009 at 5:49 pm #11250
Here’s an interesting bell that I ‘sort of’ remember stumbling across references to. I call it a ‘half bell’ as I seem to remember a base that it sat on. I can’t seem to find them again though.
The bell is brass but a magnet sticks to the handle and the tri arms in the bottom so parts are iron.
It’s 3″ diameter by 1.5″ tall (2″ if you include the handle).
The handle has some sort of vase on it, and it sports 3 (three) clappers (one missing).
I believe it is from India and sat on a dish (candy dish?). If you notice the skirt it has a lipped edge that would fit ‘over’ a similar inverted bowl nicely.
Even with one clapper missing, the chiming sound is wonderful.
I don’t believe it is made to be hung from a harness as the ‘button tops’ of all bells of that type are flat on round shanks. If you look at the profile of this one, it has a sculpted arch type shank and a rounded top that would not sit flat in a harness.
No other markings that I can see.
November 18, 2009 at 2:18 am #14903hjlong3Participant
This bell appears to be a single bell from a set of shaft bells with a drawer pull as a handle. The bell is typical of the sets of 4-5 bells that were attached to a harp that was bolted to the shaft of a buggy or sleigh. The triple clapper is also typical of a shaft bell.
Harry Long, MD
November 18, 2009 at 2:38 am #14904
Good eyes Harry!
I do believe you are correct!
It does explain the inconsistencies I was seeing, including things like the handle not fitting tightly and how it looked so similar to the bells you described.
Any idea why they put the collar around the bell lip like that though? It makes it look like it was to sit on something and I don’t understand why they would do that extra step when it doesn’t seem to add anything to the bell itself.
November 18, 2009 at 3:35 am #14905Carolyn WhitlockParticipant
Here is a picture of a Russian Saddle Chime that I found in an article entitled “Sleigh Bells and Harness Bells” on page 33 of the Nov.-Dec. 2002 The Bell Tower. If you look closely at the very top chime, you’ll see that it has the same kind of lip on it as the one you have. I have seen other bells with the same lip on them. The three clappers is the give-away (in my opinion) that this was born as a shaft bell or saddle chime of some sorts.
My mother used to refer to your type of bell as a “mongrel” – any cross between different things, esp. if inharmonious or indiscriminate.
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November 18, 2009 at 4:32 am #14906birdwingMember
I also think that this is a combination of several different parts. The handle appears to be an antique drawer pull. The bell and clapper could very well be from a saddle bell as the other poster said. The clapper is also similar to those found in sanctus bells.
November 18, 2009 at 1:25 pm #14907
My thanks to all of you!
Your observations and assistance are superb!
I believe you have nailed this one down fully, and I do appreciate the help!
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