Welcome to the ABA! Bell Talk Forums Small Bells Mechanical Monkey Bells

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    • #11196
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Rob in Canada writes:

      We have been trying to find out if there are others like these two monkey bells. They are both bronze with some gilding.

      The turtle monkey is unclothed except for the jockey cap. The other monkey is fully dressed in what looks like a jockey outfit (riding boots, jodhpurs & jacket) and he has the identical cap on his head. To his left is an inkwell. The two mechanisms underneath are identical plunge bells and they even ring with the same pitch. Even though the subject of these two bells is quite different, we feel that they must have been made by the same manufacturer. We wonder if there are others. We have seen pictures of others identical to these two, but we wonder if there is perhaps a third or a fourth in the series. We would appreciate input and information from other bell collectors.

      Regards,

      Rob

      If you can help, please post a response.
      Admin

      This inquiry was originally sent to the ABA’s Internet Coordinator. Responses are opinions of individuals based on their personal research and knowledge.

    • #14792
      hjlong3
      Participant

      Wayne Babbit would be the expert on mechanical and tap bells, if he looks in on this forum.
      Harry Long, MD

    • #14793
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Roger has asked:

      I’ve seen several of these on the right. one in my collection ( plate #18 Anthony;s Bell Tidings ), Others by the same German mfg. are Anthony’s ‘ Bells Now and Long Ago’ plate #16 #39 and Springers ‘ Collectors Book of Bells’ page 112 item #177. All with the same mech. I’ve never seen the one on the left, was wondering how it is activated. Roger

      If you can help, please post a response.
      Admin

      This inquiry was originally sent to the ABA’s Internet Coordinator. Responses are opinions of individuals based on their personal research and knowledge.

    • #14794
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Rob responds:

      In response to Roger’s question below… They are both plunge bells. For the turtle bell, when you push down on the flagpole, a spring tension is built up which suddenly releases to give a single ring of the bell underneath. For the one on the left you push down on the pestle which is between the monkey’s hands just in front of his chest. They both react in exactly the same way even with the same pitch. Also, they are not likely to be of German origin because the flag is inscribed with the words “TRAIN DE PLAISIR” which is French for “train of pleasure” or “excursion train”.

      Regards,

      Rob

    • #14795
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Roger adds:

      Springer says German. Story on the writing on the flag. These were given as souvenirs to passengers on the Orient Express. Can’t remember where I heard it so don’t know if it’s true or not. Roger

    • #14796
      robfromcanada
      Participant

      Roger, we have read and reread the pertinent sections of Springer’s book on European bells. Could you please give us the page reference where she says that these monkey bells were made in Germany. Thank you.

      We have seen complete miniature orchestras with monkeys playing the various instruments. Apparently, collecting “things monkey” was the rage in France in the late 1800s. The English had a name for the French’s crazy passion- SINGERY, presumably from the French word for monkey, singe [senzh]- pronounced similar to first syllable of the word Ganges, the river.

    • #14797
      Rogerwiemer
      Member

      Monkey bells, Refering to Springers book, The devil in the basket is by the same maker and Springer refers to it as German. Maybe she was guessing don’t know Roger

    • #14798
      robfromcanada
      Participant

      The “VITRIOL” on the devil/acid bottle (Springer’s, pg. 112) is Latin, Middle English & Old French (not at all a German word) for sulfate. The contents are undoubtedly sulfuric acid, oil of vitriol: Schwefels√§ure (sour sulfate) in German. In my early chemical days I saw some glass acid bottles wicker-wrapped this way in an old lab storage room.

      Anthony’s “Bells Now and Long Ago” plate 16 figure #39 is also called a German bell, but strangely has French writing on it too- “ESSAYEZ VOS FORCES”- test your strengths. Why would a German manufacturer put French writing on any of their items? Also, without maker’s marks or country marks on any of these bells, what evidence is there that the monkey bells were made by the same manufacturer, French or German?

      We purchased both monkey bells many years apart from the same seller in France and she insisted that they were French in origin. Though interesting, none of this answers the original question: Are there any different monkey bells in addition to these two?

      P.S. to Roger: I see that they are affronting us both with the title “Newbie”. We have been collecting and researching bells for well over 40 years and we’re sure that you are no stranger to bell collecting either. Perhaps “Newcomer” would be more appropriate title to use for people new to the Bell Talk Forum.

    • #14799
      Rogerwiemer
      Member

      Regarding the monkey bells….. you convinced me, probably French. Don’t know of any other monkey bells. I sure would like to ad yours to my collection. The one on the left, I have the one on the right ( monkey on a turtle) I’ve had other monkeys on the turtle that were a little different. I also have the devil in the basket and a couple of others they all have the same insides and it’s easy to tell they are of the same manufacture. So we’ll say they are French and Springer is wrong when she says they are German. Roger

    • #14800
      robfromcanada
      Participant

      We’re novices now. WOW! I like your idea that the monkey/turtle was given or purchased as a souvenir on the Orient Express. With the flag translating as “Excursion Train”, that certainly would fit. If you remember where you got that from, please let us know. Regards.

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