Need HELP!!!!! Identifying this really old Bell
March 27, 2013 at 6:05 pm #12225jtsmithbankParticipant
I found this in my basement. I bought a house from a very important and very well known antiquities collector that died. Can discuss the more later but I found this in my basement behind a bunch of paint cans… His collection was auctioned off at Sotheby’s in December. I bought the house and moved in this past fall… I can provide more information on who this belonged to later but take a look…
check out the pictures… there is a date but it has a hole in it!
THE ONLY WRITING on it is the symbol of the cross on top of the circle and a date with the hole in the middle of it. What remains is the remnants of the following numbers “1XX9”
the first numeral is “1” and is fully visible
the second, only the bottom left of this is visible but given the shape it would have to have been a 3, 5, 6, or 8
the third is completely missing thanks to the hole
the fourth and last numeral is a 9
on the cross their is a hole you can see, it almost looks like a bullet hole. given the way it bends inward…
Can anyone help identify this? This collector only collected things of value. He did not have tons of junk with only a few important historical pieces. He seemed to only acquire things he thought were of historical significance. So I figure their must be some kind of a story…. I am completely lost… Can anyone help?
the cross with the circle on top is a global cruciger
March 27, 2013 at 7:53 pm #17386RonaKesselmanParticipant
Hi and Welcome!
I would guess that you have is a “Mexican” type souvenir bell.
Per an article in the March-April 2009 issue of the “Bell Tower“* volume 67, Number Two pages 9-15 by Max Kurillo and Erline M. Tuttle:.”
These are “Mexician” type souvenir bells that are still made in atleast two locations in Mexico and are big sellers to the tourist trade. These bells belong to a group of bells that we have been researching for years. These strikingly beautiful bells first appeared in the USA early in the 1950s in Chicago. They range in size from 2 inches high to over 18 inches, from a few ounces to over 30 pounds, and the dates range from 1808 to 1820. Most are covered with designs, symbols, marks, ridges, and icons, mainly scattered patterns, while others have what seems to be organized symmetry. The crowns can be a variety of designs from a pad with simple holes, to an elaborte design, and to a four loop-type crown.
Also, if you type in Mexican bell, “1811 bell” or Max Kurillo in the search box in the upper right corner, you can find all sorts of discussion regarding these bells.
While these type bells are marketed on auction sites or in antique shops as being “antique”, the bells are not.
*The “Bell Tower” is the official publication of the American Bell Association International, Inc.
March 27, 2013 at 9:14 pm #17387jtsmithbankParticipant
I don’t think this is a mexican tourist bell. I cannot find anything that remote resembles this type of bell when I research it. Can anyone else help?
March 28, 2013 at 5:03 pm #17388jackbellParticipant
The clapper with the chain and S hook is typical of Mexican mid-century bells. They were decorated with religious symbols, various dates, and inscriptions in Spanish or sometimes Latin. Is it possible he had this bell as a yard or garden ornament and someone in the neighborhood used it for target practice? I doubt he would have kept a historic artifact in his basement with the paint.
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