Welcome to the ABA! Bell Talk Forums Small Bells Old Metal Rattle

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    • #10750
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Rachael in Illinois writes:

      I just bought a bell and I am trying to find out what it would have been used for. It is heavy, perhaps brass, shaped like a baby rattle, round bells,like sleigh, on each end tube shape connecting them. Maybe hand held or connected to leather, I’m not sure. Does this sound familiar? I appreciate your help. Thank you

      If you can help, please post a response. If you need help posting, please contact me at coordinator@americanbell.org. Please be sure to reference this post as from “Rachael in Illinois” if you are going to send information to me. Thanks

      Admin

      This inquiry was originally sent to the ABA’s Internet Coordinator. Responses are opinions of individuals based on their personal research and knowledge.

    • #13428
      Rita Walker
      Member

      Your rattle is much like the DORJE that was used along with the lamasary bell by the Buddhist monks during their holy rituals. The monk would hold the bell in his right hand and dorje in his left, while chanting and ringing the bell.
      However, the true dorjes were slightly different. The two ends were done in a open “claw-like” pattern, and did not have the “closed-end” look that yours has. I think yours probably has a pellet inside each end, right? That would clearly make it a rattle. At first glance, you might think it’s a child’s rattle, but I’m sure it’s weight is too heavy for that. It strikes me as something made in India, and may indeed be the Hindu version of a dorje.

    • #13430
      Carolyn Whitlock
      Participant

      Angela asks:

      Hello,
      I came across your website, and the posting about the old metal rattle from Rachael in Illinois (viewtopic.php?f=6&t=657). I have purchased a set of 2 of these types of rattles from Goodwill, and was wondering if you had found out what these are? I have attached a few photos of the ones that I purchased. Please let me know if you have any additional information on these types of rattles and their history.
      Thank you for your time,
      Angela

      Although I have two of these bell rattles, I don’t know anything about them. Can you help Angela, Rachael, and me?

      Thanks,
      Carolyn

    • #13431
      Rita Walker
      Member

      For Rachael in Illinois. I have no additional information on these beyond what I posted in 2008. Today I researched the web and I’d like to suggest that you go into: http://www.khandro.net/ritual_vajra.htm.
      There you will find much information on the dorje or vajra. However, I still believe that these are not true dorjes. They are not elaborate enough to be paired with the Buddhist ritual bell. Yet they have a similar look. I’m sorry that I can add nothing more. These bells have puzzled me for decades.
      Rita

    • #13432
      Carolyn Whitlock
      Participant

      Thanks, Rita. Sooner or later this mystery will be solved!

      Carolyn

    • #13429
      Carolyn Whitlock
      Participant

      Rita has sent me some information that she found online about this type of rattle.

      A person representing Genesis Arts in India says this is a traditional Indian Brass “Toy Bell” for Children. He goes on to say that this is an old toy bell made of bronze. It is a very old piece. It is widely used in southern India as an object of play for small kids. There is a myth in these areas that Lord Krishna used to play with this type of object in his childhood. In some parts of India, newly married women worship these objects in order to get a male child when they conceive. Apparently, these kinds of art pieces are displayed in the Sanskrit museum as “every day art of India” in Delhi, India.

      An example of the type of bell rattle that is being described is 3.6 inches x 2.15 inches. The person who wrote about this bell believes the value of the bell is about $50.00.

      Carolyn

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