Welcome to the ABA! Bell Talk Forums General `Bell Stuff` help to identify primitive bell

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    • #25272

      Hi, I’m new to this forum and I am hoping someone help me identify this bell. See pics. Here’s what I know about it:
      I found it at a junk shop. It is one of several old bells from somones collection curated in the 70’s. The bells came from all over the world. Most of them have labels that state where it was from and when it was collected. This particular bell’s lable says “Nairobe Kenya 10/75 It appears to be made out of iron and is very primitive looking. The width of the bell top is 5″ the bottom is 3 7/8″ the sides are about 4 3/8” the diameter of the round part of the bottom is about 2 inches. The handle is made out of animal skin and course fur. It is very stiff and measures about 8 1/2 inches to the top.

      • This topic was modified 3 years, 6 months ago by DavidE.
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    • #25277
      Carolyn Whitlock

      Hi, Mejeannie! What a unique bell! I know nothing about it and the opinions I am about to offer represent my best guesses and only guesses.

      1. It’s a hand-made bell that was most likely used to identify the location of the animal that wore it around it’s neck.

      2. The strap length and the size of the bell indicate that the bell would have been used on a small animal, especially if there is no kind of buckle/fastener that would allow the strap to be opened when putting it on the animal. It would have been slipped over the head.

      3. The strap may be stiff because the skin (leather) probably wasn’t tanned (or cured) so as to keep it pliable over time.

      4. I agree that it is a primitive bell but that doesn’t necessarily mean that is hundreds of years old. It could be that the maker had limited tools available to him and had limited knowledge of more modern methods of bell making.

      5. I presume the clapper is made out of wood; therefore, it probably doesn’t have a particularly loud ring to it.

      Therefore, my personal opinion is that this is a bell for a relatively small animal that was made in Kenya, Africa, and the previous owner found/bought it in October of 1975.

      I welcome others to share their knowledge and opinions regarding your bell. My forte is not with primitive and/or animal bells so I can’t guarantee that I’ve given you authoritative information.

      Let’s hope other people who are more knowledgeable than I respond to your request for information!

      Good luck


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