Welcome to the ABA! Bell Talk Forums General `Bell Stuff` Old Ship’s Bell Discovered Undersea Yesterday

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    • #11991
      Carl Robbins

      I am hoping that someone out there is cyberspace can help me begin to uncover the mystery of why this ship’s bell was left on the seafloor. I’m sure that there is an interesting, if not amazing story regarding its loss. It certainly appears to be quite old.

      Here are a couple of pictures of it: http://s591.photobucket.com/albums/ss359/CarlRobbinsPhotos/Ships%20Bell%2002052012/?albumview=slideshow

      If you like mysteries and like solving them and they involve bells then I have a unique opportunity for you…


    • #16843

      You are going to have to give a bit more than that to go on! Where exactly was it found? So far it could be in any ocean. You can then look at shipwreck data for the area to see if there is anything close.
      Was anything else near by? Other objects? Rocks jutting near the surface? That’s all clues.
      Does it hold a magnet? (ie. brass or iron bell?)
      What are it’s dimensions?
      You also need to find out the laws for undersea salvage for the area. That’s for two reasons: 1) is it legal for you to have it (obvious reason) but 2) if so, and there was nothing else in the area, there is a good chance that it was recovered elsewhere and then dumped when they discovered they couldn’t keep it.

      In any case you should also quickly seek the advice of a good conservator. This bell has been immersed some time in salt water, from the looks of the encrustation, and objects exposed to air after long dunking in salt water degrade quickly. The salt gets into the ‘pores’ of the metals and breaks them down when the solution dries out allowing the crystals to form. Further, many brass forms have a certain amount of iron in them that will ‘rust’ when exposed to air, also causing damage. You need to seek expert advise on how to conserve and restore it or the bell will very likely become damaged – possibly beyond repair.

      If I am guessing the size correctly it looks to be about the size one would expect on a medium sized sailing craft, possibly like an old fishing sloop. The shape is a bit narrower than I would expect though, so it would be interesting to see what it actually looks like and if there are any markings on it.

      Hope that helps!


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