Can anyone help tell whether this 9″ tall bronze mission bell is authentic? It looks old. The patina is good. But I don’t know enough to tell if it 19th Century authentic. Thank you in advance
This looks like one of Mrs. A. S. C. Forbes’ mission bells from the California Bell Company, est. 1914. She cast a variety of mission style bells that sold as souvenirs ath the various California Missions and she was also responsible for placement of the El Camino Real Bells as mile posts along the Mission Highway connecting the missions. I do not see this bell on the current inventory of the California Bell Company (see their website), but this bell has been attributed to Mrs. Forbes. I do not know which mission that it represents, but the California Bell Company may be able to help you.
Harry Long, MD
Max Kurillo responds:
#13 has a bell that belongs to a group of bells that I have been researching for years. They first appeared in the USA around the 1950s in Chicago. They range in size from 2 inch high to over 18 inches and the dates range from 1808 to1820. They are still made in at least two locations in Mexico and are big sellers to the tourist trade. I am the historian for the Camino real bells I can assure you that they have nothing to do with The California Bell Co. or the Camino Real Bells. The value is whatever you paid for it. Max Kurillo
Just “ringing” in to support Max’s comments about that bell. On a visit to Mexico in 1969 I spoke with a shopkeeper about the bells he had for sale. I asked if they were old. After much discussion, he made a confession to me right on the spot. He told me these bells are burried in the ground just long enough for the oxidation to take place. Be warry of these bells. They are not old. 🙁