Info Needed on William Blake Bell ASAP
April 20, 2011 at 5:14 pm #11758Kate LuceMember
My husband is named William Blake Luce. He was born in Boston, and his family has been in the US since Revolutionary times. His ancestor was William Blake. We have inherited a William Blake bell, but need advice on whether to sell, or keep it.
The bell measures approx. 4′ across, and we’re guessing it weighs about 500 pounds. The bell reads:
” William Blake & Co, formerly H N Hooper& Co Boston 1871″ It’s sitting right now in my late mother-in-law’s backyard on the
southern coast of Maine. We would have to move it 3.5 hours north to mid-coast Maine. We have no idea how much that would cost, and who to call to move it properly. It’s only 20 yards from the shore, should we consider moving it by boat?
** Here’s the pickle, the art appraiser/auctionner in Maine wants to take it on Friday, ( 4/22) but we have no idea of it’s real value, and we’d like to keep it if at all possible in the family. Would love some expert advice — and any info on the bell. My late mother-in-law once said she thought it had come out of a church that was being demolished in MA. But have no written proof of that. We’d appreciate any information you can share with us, ASAP. Regards, Kate Andrews Luce
[attachment=0]William Blake Bell .jpg[/attachment]
April 20, 2011 at 6:28 pm #16353jackbellParticipant
I don’t offer opinions on price but I can tell you most bronze bells are not extremely rare or worth a great fortune. Also, if it’s a 48″ bell it weighs at least 3 times what you think. It’s beautiful. If it has a connection to your family it should be kept. If you are intent on selling don’t be in a rush. For relocation hire someone with a flat-bed truck and a chain or hydraulic lift. You don’t want it to go to the bottom of the sea. Go to the search (above right) and enter Blake or Hooper for more info about the foundry.
April 20, 2011 at 7:06 pm #16354Neil GoeppingerParticipant
The picture looks more like a 48″ circumfrence bell rather than a 48″ diameter bell. The bell is worth somewhere between $100 and $130 per inch of diameter. Condition, original fittings, etc. all enter into the value. I can see from the picture that it does not have the original stands or wheel which would detract from the value, but it is still a valuable bell. If you want to sell the bell, I know someone who lives in Maine who collects church bells and for whom I can vouch for their honesty. If you are interested, let me know and I will pass along their contact information by email rather than a post on this forum.
I already have a Blake bell in my collection, but is is much smaller than 48″ in diameter. — Neil
April 20, 2011 at 7:29 pm #16355Kate LuceMember
Thanks for all the quick replies from the Terrific Bell Community! I just heard from Blake, my husband, and he says the bell
is actually 24″ diameter, not 48″.. . Sorry!… He’s cleaning out his late Mother’s home and between the dust and emotion I guess he misjudged. – thanks again for all your help. Kate Andrews Luce
April 20, 2011 at 7:42 pm #16356jackbellParticipant
Two or three people can easily load it onto a small pickup for transport. Hope you decide to keep it.
April 20, 2011 at 10:21 pm #16357MarieParticipant
If I were you, I would not part with that bell. Your husband should want to keep it for family value if for no other reason (such as, it will look good in your yard). If you ever have to sell it, do it then. It’s not too big or heavy to handle easily. Get it in the back of a pickup truck or trailer, tie it off good, and take it home.
April 21, 2011 at 2:57 am #16358hjlong3Participant
If you do decide to move it on a truck, either detach the wheel or place the bell on a pallate so that there is no weight on the wheel or you will have a broken wheel when you arrive at your destination.
Harry Long, MD
April 24, 2011 at 11:12 pm #16359Neil GoeppingerParticipant
Harry Long’s advice on either removing the wheel or putting the bell on a pallet so the wheel isn’t touching the bed of the truck is a good piece of advice. I’d add that you need to be sure to remove the clapper from the bell, or else have the clapper hang free in a hole cut in the pallet so it doesn’t break the top out of the bell in transit. — Neil
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