Mixed Media (Glass & Metal) German Bells
March 6, 2011 at 10:32 pm #11723halanbParticipant
Glass bells with metal handles are quite common. Modern versions (Pic 1) may often be obtained for a few dollars. Prices rise considerably when moving into older versions (Pic 2) or flint glass bells (Pic 3).
This posting will concentrate on a subset of that type of bell. There is a series of antique objects, known as bottle stoppers, with a decorative, often figural, top. They are quite common, usually silver plated, ocasionally pure silver, but sometimes found as painted wood (ANRI) or porcelain. Many were made in the Art Nouveau and Art Deco Periods. Many originated in Germany where they are known as “zierkorken”, “flaschenkorken” or “flaschenverschluss”. I have also seen a few from Holland and Britain.
The base tapers and grips a cork, usually 1.5 – 2.0 in (4 – 6 cm) long. Many of these items are around 100 years old, the cork may have become brittle and have been broken off, and the value reduced. In such cases, they are often quite inexpensive, and I have acquired and used several as handles on figural marriage bells.
I have mentioned previously that Pearson Page (England) often used the same figure as a handle on various objects – bells, letter openers, toasting forks, shoe horns, etc. It now appears that the same may have been true in Germany. The next set of pictures shows bells recently sold on German eBay.
The first bell is a hunter with a dog (5.5 in, 14 cm). The handle appears to be of the same type as seen above on the bottle stoppers. It bears marks for WMF (Germany) and standard silver plating. It looks to me as if it were factory made, not a homebrew marriage. The combination nut and clapper loop is a standard item and was often used in that period (1880 – 1920). The glass bell looks to me as if it were made to mount such a handle.
The second bell is a monk holding a pitcher (6 in, 15 cm). The handle again looks like one that might be found on a bottle stopper.
The third bell is somewhat different (7 in, 17 cm). The metal base under the figure is smaller and does not look as if it were intended to hold a cork, but I have no idea if it had been originally intended for a different use.
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