Just curious :)
February 1, 2011 at 6:18 am #11701subhuman138Participant
Can anyone tell me about this bell? Who the R stands for? does the 1900 Mean the date it was made? Is this a bell I would want to sell to a collector or a gold company?
February 5, 2011 at 5:02 am #16259GarryParticipant
Wow, what a question to ask a bell collectors group!
– We aren’t likely to suggest melting it down, after all!
I am going to preface my comments with the observation that the photos are not showing up well on my screen (very blurry and small) so I can’t see all the details I really need. I am also reading between the lines, as to if it’s gold or not, for example. You should take it to a local expert before doing anything irreversible, as an in person examination would show details that aren’t present here, so I wouldn’t see them. That said, here’s what I see.
What you seem to have is a very nice small Cloisonne influenced bell. (It refers to the type of enamelling glasswork on the bell dome.) The bell dome appears to be a stamped piece of brass formed into the classic bells shape then a raised enamel work applied to it. The handle looks to be of a similar nature, you don’t indicate how heavy it is so I can’t tell if it’s hollow formed or a poured piece.
It appears to have been designed to be a presentation piece, as the bell as it has Cartouche space left on either side of the handle and the pattern design is vintage.
The “R” and “1900” appear in your photos to be Inked on, (are they?) rather than engraved or embossed. This indicates again a later design, probably the 1970s/80s area. These markings probably don’t indicate the Date, I believe, but more likely it’s a piece given out to mark a milestone. For example; a company with the initial “R” who has now produced 1900 widgets, or gone 1900 days no accidents, that kind of thing. Sort of a “Hurrah, we did it, ring the bell!” idea. It would be very interesting to research and try and find out exactly what it is for, but that would be a lot of work as you don’t have a lot to start with so be prepared to spend some time at it, if you do! It’s likely a piece given to supervisors and administrators, so a mid value piece.
Try a magnet on the handle, the bell, and the clapper. If it sticks, it is plated iron. Otherwise you are looking at a brass piece, probably with a light gold wash to ‘shine it up’ (sorry not solid gold! you would have likely remarked on it’s weight then!). You don’t mention any other stamps or markings, but I have seen bells of this type originating from China and India usually.
It’s a nice conversation piece, and would display well, so you might want to consider keeping it.
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