I’ve just started collecting bells and I picked up this interesting bell at an estate sale. The family member hosting the sale had no idea about the origins of the bell but several items at the sale had been brought back from Europe, Africa, and India.
This bell appears to be very old brass. It has quite a bit of tarnish and pitting so it must have been used quite a bit. It looks to be all 1 piece except for the iron ring at the top that was probably added later using very crude black-smithing. It still has the ringer suspended by a metal piece that is rusting badly but the ball has no rust on it.
The design on the face is curious with a 3 point crown and several seemingly random diagonal hash marks on both sides. Its definitely a hand-made piece. I cannot find any foundry or manufacturing marks on the outside or inside.
Any clues as to what it was used for and where its from are welcome! Also, should I attempt to “restore” it by removing the tarnish or just leave it “rustic”? Would either option devalue the bell (if its worth anything at all).
If any additional photos would help let me know!