Welcome to the ABA! Bell Talk Forums Small Bells Information French Repousse Servant's bell

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    • #24887
      Samberg3
      Participant

      Hello,

      I just acquired this bell. I did some research and found a picture of an almost identical one on Pinterest, with no other link or info.. The one on the Pinterest had the figurines of the children painted. The title was “Louis XV Patinated Bronze Repousse French Servant’s Bell” That would be the 1700’s, correct? What I wanted to know is, is that a correct description of my bell? Do you think the bell is that old? How rare/collectible is it?

      Thanks so much

    • #24888
      Samberg3
      Participant

      Sorry, the pictures were too big, hopefully these new ones will work.

    • #24889
      Samberg3
      Participant

      trying again with the pictures

    • #24890
      Samberg3
      Participant

      Ok, I read your instructions and resized the pictures. The Bell is about 6.5″ tall and 4″ in diameter across the mouth/base. Here is my original post:

      Hello,

      I just acquired this bell. I did some research and found a picture of an almost identical one on Pinterest, with no other link or info.. The one on the Pinterest had the figurines of the children painted. The title was “Louis XV Patinated Bronze Repousse French Servant’s Bell” That would be the 1700’s, correct? What I wanted to know is, is that a correct description of my bell? Do you think the bell is that old? How rare/collectible is it?

      Thanks so much

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    • #24895
      Samberg3
      Participant

      pictures!

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    • #24900
      Samberg3
      Participant

      Ok, I give up! Would someone please tell me what i am doing wrong with the picture resizing?

    • #24901
      Samberg3
      Participant

      hope this works

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    • #24903
      Samberg3
      Participant

      My apologies, I think I got the pictures to work this time. I truly appreciate any help and information

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    • #24934
      Garry
      Participant

      Hello Samberg3!
      Welcome to the ABBA site. You have a great bell there!

      First, to answer your photo questions. There are two basic ways to reduce the ‘size’ of a photograph;
      1) make it smaller (ie scale it down) like you have done here. While this works, it usually only provides thumbnail sized images, which is all we see. The size obscures the details we are looking for.
      2) Reduce the number of pixels in the image. This keeps it fairly large on the screen by reducing the number of pixels needed for the image. This sounds almost like the same thing, but really it’s the resolution that is being changed, not the physical image dimensions in this case. If you are printing it out into a photograph on paper, then you want the highest number of pixels you can for the size of the print (4×8, 8×10, etc.) the larger the print the more pixels needed to fill in the space! But to display on a monitor you don’t need nearly that amount of detail- your monitor simply cannot display it anyway! so to reduce the pixels for a monitor display is perfectly doable.

      The program I use is a simple little free one called “Photo Resize Magic 1.1”. It takes some experimentation but usually setting it to a 50% or 25% reduction brings the Megabyte size down to what we need here to save, but still gives a pretty big photo on the screen. Be careful to COPY your image to a separate directory because it is an old program, if you tell it to save to the original spot, it over writes the original! Working only with a copy can save you some headaches!

    • #24935
      Garry
      Participant

      To talk about the Bell now;

      I really need to see some larger images than the thumbnail sizes here. Some light inside the bell when you take that photo so that we can see the type of clapper and how it attaches is helpful too. Some close ups of the images on the side help. We also look for wear marks on the handle and inside the skirt.

      Can you put a rare earth magnet against the handle, the side of the bell the clapper, the clapper attachment and see if it sticks anywhere?

      Do you see any discoloration anywhere on the bell? What color is it if you do?

      What are the physical dimensions of the bell? How tall is the handle? the Bell Skirt? the diameter of the Skirt? the size of the clapper?

      All this helps in identifying the bell.

      That said, I can say that you do have a very collectable bell – I wouldn’t mind it in my collection! So that’s a great find you have. This type of heavy bell construction is very labor intensive (how much depends on the answers and better photos asked for above!) and is typically done through a lost wax process. Basically (at a high level description) a wax copy of the bell is carved out by a master carver. The wax ‘bell’ is packed in fine sand or something similar very carefully so as not to collapse the wax, but still fill all the nooks and crannies. Then hot metal is poured into the top, and as the metal melts the wax it fills the voids the wax leaves behind forming a metal copy of the object. The metal cools and the mold is broken open to release the bell. Since both the wax original and the mold are destroyed you can’t easily make another copy, so not many of these bells would be made.

      The large amount of heavy detail is indicative of an older style typically in about the 14th to 17th centuries. It looks very similar to some bas reliefs on Renaissance bells or Italian bells of that era, if I squint at the small images! <smile>

      I suspect your ‘children’ could be better described as ‘cherubs’ and the animals depicted need to be investigated too as they would usually help in identifying the country of origin/ use of the bell. Obviously it could be a servant bell (many bells were made pretty, then used however the owner wanted of course!) but usually a servant bell would be less ornate (lighter) so as to give a higher ring that carries further in the house. Heavier bells ring a lower note and, if your goal is to get someone’s attention in another room, you usually want the sound to travel as far as possible.

      I would be interested in the link you found to the similar bell too, if you have it!

      Hope this rather verbose meandering of mine helps you!
      Again welcome to the site!
      Garry

    • #24940
      Samberg3
      Participant

      new picture

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    • #24942
      Samberg3
      Participant

      Hi Garry,

      Thank you so very much for your replies. I took some more pictures on the lowest pixel I could and I think they might work. The bell is 6.75″ tall and 3 7/8″ diameter across the opening at the bottom of the skirt (is that how you say that? The handle is 3″ tall and it looks like it was a separate piece. The clapper is 2.5″ this does not include the “S” or “8” shaped piece of metal the clapper is hung on. There is a worn spot on the inside of the skirt where the clapper hit the side, this seems to be a brown color. There is also a worn spot at the top where the clapper is attached, this worn spot is a brown color.

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    • #24947
      Samberg3
      Participant

      are these pictures big enough? I looked for the “Magic Photo Resizer 1.1” you mentioned and I could not really find it, just some odd websites that said they had it and then wanted you to download something else. I do not have any rare earth magnets. I will run to Home Depot tomorrow and get a couple. Please let me know if you need any other pictures or information. Also, Garry, thank you very much for your long answers, I really appreciate all of the information. Here is the link to the bell I found on Pinterest that looks like mine:

      https://www.pinterest.com/pin/147000375307097885/visual-search/?x=0&y=7&w=564&h=662

      On Pinterest I could do an image search for similar images. Another bell came up that had been on ebay. it says “1800-1899 Bronze table bell art nouveau cherbus”

      I tried to clink on the link on Pinterest to see the original website but I got a notice that said “Sorry, the page you requested was not found because the site Squidoo is now part of HubPages.”

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    • #24954
      Garry
      Participant

      Yes, the photos sent have good detail.
      Not sure why you couldn’t find the program, my google goes right to it:
      https://photo-resize-magic.en.uptodown.com/windows

      Rare earth magnets are simply strong natural magnets, not ones man made, which tend to be less expensive. You want the stronger magnet to pick up smaller amounts of iron that could be underneath a coating or in a cheaper bronze mix.

      From what I have been able to see, the pinterest one you found makes sense too. It’s about the same age as I’d put your bell, from the photos. The wear patterns are consistent, the type of clapper and it’s attachment are correct. (It’s a more expensive clapper as this is a higher quality bell!)

      The symbolism of the cherubs and goat is of Christian origins (many stories in the bible!) while the cherubs reclining and eating grapes ties together nicely with the concept of this being a table bell as your finding mentions. The rest of the decor suggests a Germanic influence to me and this style of heavy/bulky decoration is consistent with that area and time. Italy would likely be another possible choice due to some of the plants you see depicted. You see the symbolism in other media too such as in my attachment below, also from that area of Europe.

      I will go through some of my references to see if I can discover anything else, but I think you do have a great and old bell!

      Garry

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    • #24987
      Carolyn Whitlock
      Participant

      To enlarge the pictures in ‘Bell Talk’ Forum postings, all one has to do is click on them.

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