Inherited bell collection
July 28, 2015 at 6:29 pm #12603TheFineLineParticipant
Hi All, My Grandfather passed away recently and I’ve inherited much of his estate. Among the items I’ve found so far is a modest collection of bells. Grandpa was 96 and lived in New York. One of the places he retired from was the NY Transit Authority. I have no history or knowledge of any of the bells. I have a couple of pics of the collection below. There are 15-20 more ceramic ones in another box. I’m wondering if any of you can help me identify some of these. I’m not in need of selling anything but am open to offers/suggestions. I’m really more interested in just knowing what some of these were used for. I have these at home and can take more detailed pictures if there are any standouts. Thanks in advance for your help.
August 1, 2015 at 2:41 am #18051GarryParticipant
Welcome ‘fine line’!
Grandad has a nice collection of some early and later bells. Most are pretty basic and if you spend some time poking around this site you will see many (most) of them described and talked about here. The ones with figures and writing would need close up views to tell more. (I love the way you stuck in the bugle ‘bell’!) I see Fenton glass, nice older brass bells, animal bells, presentation bells, holiday / tourist bells in the mix too. Some are incomplete (but you may have the pieces and just not know it) such as the two dutch flat figure bells – they are actually a table centerpiece and each girl’s yolk is supposed to have two closed glass buckets hanging from it: one salt, one pepper!
Personally, I’d like to see closeups of the little hexagonal bell on the front row, the one with the stag on it, and the figure bell in the back by the santa bell. The green glass bell would be nice to see too.
You might start your searches on this site (see the upper right area of the web page!) for things such as hand bell, early bevin bell, school bell for the brass / wood handle ones (they are here!), Fenton Glass bells for the fenton one, Sheep bell, animal bell, cow bell, India bell, sarna bells, avon, for some of the others, to get you started.
The crystal ones need to be examined closer for marks, imprints and molding lines etc. to know more about them.
If you want replies on this site of more detail, you are likely going to have to spread it out over time a bit. For example, give the height, width measures, front, (side if different), (back if different) and inside photos of the bell, along with any tests you have done (trying a strong magnet against a metal bell gives indication of nickel/iron content for example). Any history you can find is useful, if we know where it was collected, that could give cues.
It’s especially a very nice starting set if you wanted to get the collecting bug yourself! Think about it!
We would love to see you join here!
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