Welcome to the ABA! Bell Talk Forums Large Bells plantation bell at Oak Alley

This topic contains 4 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  nightflier51 6 days, 5 hours ago.

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  • #29062

    oabell
    Participant

    The plantation bell at Oak Alley in Louisiana is an A. Fulton, produced shortly after he reopened (after the fire). It is rather large.
    One, can anyone tell me anything about the female figure? My docents are constantly asked who/what she is.
    Secondly, this bell is displayed outside, what is the best way for me to protect it? Is there a polish I should be using, etc?
    Lastly, I find it interesting what letters appear to have lost their relief—what causes that?

    Thank you
    Laura Kilcer
    Curator
    Oak Alley Foundation

    Oak Alley Foundation is a 501(c)(3) public non-profit trust organized and operated exclusively for charitable, literary and educational purposes. Its Trustees are charged with maintaining and preserving the mansion (Big House) and surrounding twenty-eight (28) acre National Historic Landmark site for public exhibition as an historical monument to the times and area in which the property was built and for the instruction, education, enlightenment, information, edification and cultural benefit of the citizens of the State of Louisiana, the United States and the public generally.

    • This topic was modified 1 week, 4 days ago by  oabell.
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  • #29064

    It isn’t that the letters have “lost” some relief — they never had it all! Fulton was one of the earliest American adopters of the two-part mold method of casting bells; it replaced the ancient & traditional method of building the outer mold over a false bell built on the core. Thus inscriptions had to be stamped into the outer mold before it was baked, and that was difficult to do neatly and evenly. Your plantation bell is clear evidence of that difficulty; it looks now just as it did when it was shipped from Pittsburgh.

  • #29065

    nightflier51
    Participant

    Their stamping needed to be a bit thicker and it would have been more clear. Todays methods work better because there are machinery computerised to 3d image and create thicker stamping….

  • #29073

    oabell
    Participant

    Thank you Carl and nightflier51! I’m actually starting to wonder if this was even the plantation bell. Its more ornate than any other plantation bell I’ve seen, with the coronet at the top, and it was made the year the planter died. At the very least there must have been a bell preceding it. I’ve also looked through the New Orleans papers that he subscribed to, and I can’t, for the life me, find any ads for the Fulton Foundry! There are many other foundries advertised, but I cant see how he even knew of Fulton, let alone ordered a bell from him. I’m wondering if this wasn’t brought onto the plantation later, pulled from a steamboat or something. Can anyone point me to where I might see if there are other Fulton plantation bells?

    Thank you

  • #29074

    nightflier51
    Participant

    Most plantation bells were iron farm bells but once in awhile an owner would get a bronze one from a boat or other places and use it if it was a bargain or even a gift.

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