Welcome to the ABA! Bell Talk Forums Small Bells Not just another 1878 bell??

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    • #24970

      Here is just one more Chiantel Fondeur 1878 Saignelegier bell?? Construction is different from others I have seen and so wonder if perhaps it may be a much older version. Clapper is a one piece casting, attached to a U shaped hook with both ends passing through the top of the bell and the strap holder. Ends are deformed so that the assembly is permanently in place. Base diameter is 3 3/4″.

      Any assistance dating this bell would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

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    • #25021

      Hi John!
      Sorry it took so long to get back to you. I really thought one of the other members would have responded to this one. You are clearly aware that this bell is one of the more copied bells out there. It’s simply because it was so successful that the same molds have been used over and over again. In fact, a couple years ago I even found the company that was still making these bells today! It’s not really an attempt to deceive, just that the molds were made that long ago with the date built in. But it does fool some folks!

      There is really only one true way that I know of to get the age, but it’s somewhat destructive. You have the metal tested for content then compare the results to the different manufacturers over the ages. It would give you the general time it was made.

      For your purposes though, I’d feel comfortable saying that you generally have an older ‘version’ simply from the wear that I see in your photos. Without a hardness test, (to see how quickly that particular brass pour would wear), you can’t be overly accurate but it does take in the multiple decades range to show that kind of wear in most cases. You are correct that the clapper attachment is an earlier style as well, lending credence to the older version idea.

      If you can get some history of that particular bell, that should help you too. (ie if grandpa or great grandpa remembers buying it…)

      Hope this helps, as vague as it is!

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