Here’s an interesting bell I just picked up.
It’s Iron with a brass plating (holds the magnet) but has some evidence of work after casting (ie some file marks on some areas such as the headdress).
It’s obviously from India (stamped on the inside, see photo) and has an unusual ‘halo’ around the top of the bell itself. The handle is a monkey, tail goes up the back and around the head as part of the head dress.
I don’t know what the #3 is about, possibly size? It’s a very solid bell, cast in one piece (handle and bell).
The “India” mark, rather than ‘made in India’ suggests to me a very early tourist piece?
This is a modern version of a bell commemorating Hanuman, son of Anjana, and one of the incarnations of Shiva in Hindu mythology. Shiva caused Hanuman to be born in the form of a Human Monkey in order to appease the monkies, and by entering the body of Hanuman, gave great respect to the monkies who are considered holy in Hindu mythology. You can read more than you wish about the story of Hanuman by Googling his name.
Harry Long, MD
Thanks Harry, will do the look up.
One question from a newbie: What is considered ‘modern’ or ‘new’ in the bell world?
I have seen the term(s) applied to a number of bells of differing ages. Because of the long life span of a given bell, I suspect that what I consider ‘old’ might be considered ‘new’ by bell collectors. If you have any insight into that it would be appreciated.
Most of the older Hanuman bells are heavy brass with intricate engravings on the handle and skirt of the bell. These were made in the early 1900s-WWII. Similar bells were cast of brass in the 1950s-1960s but without the intricate carving and with a plain skirt on the bell. Now apparently they are manufacturing the plain bells of brass plated or dipped cast steel rather than solid brass. I would consider an older Hindu bell to be pre-WWII.
Harry Long, MD