Welcome to the ABA! Bell Talk Forums Small Bells Please help identify

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    • #12461
      abbyjo723
      Participant

      New to the hobby and am putting this out here to see if anyone can help identify. I bought this small bell from an antique shop yesterday and haven’t been able to find much information on the company, if any at all. The name on the bell is Roland _rivei_. It looks as if there was a letter before the r in the second word that got rubbed away and there was possibly one on the end of the word as well. The bell is about 4.5″ tall and the skirt diameter is 3.5″ wide. Looking at the first two pictures, I had the idea that maybe it was a small dinner bell/ hand bell as it looks that it broke off of something and from what I have seen, this doesn’t look like the usual animal bell that would slip onto a collar.

      Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    • #17861
      Garry
      Participant

      Hey Abby-Jo!

      Could you supply a few more details please?
      1. can you tell what metal it is? (does a magnet stick to it, for example?)
      2. Where did you buy it (not the store, I am looking for what Country/State/Community)
      Makes it easier to look for information if we at least have an idea what Country to start in and what sort of country side we are looking at, so the closer you can provide the better!

      That said, I do believe you are looking at an animal bell. The open mouth style was fairly common for ‘working’ animals as snow / mud would tend to fall out of them instead of packing inside. (as opposed to decorative ones worn only periodically or not prone to rolling in snow/ mud such as when hooked to or on a sleigh. The crotal type.) The photos you supplied seem to show a mass produced type cast bell where the TANG on the top would be inserted through a slit in a couple of straps and pinned or in an arrangement where the strap would hang down over the animal’s neck (like a small scarf) and the two dangling ends would be pinned together with the tang of the bell between them. I am including a couple of photos of what I am talking about for the “through the strap” type. I couldn’t find one on line for the “pinned loop” and, unfortunately, I am in the process of moving. The example I personally have of this type is packed in a box and in transit right now, so I can’t include it’s photo.

      The type of animal wearing this would be something like a reindeer or similar sized animal. Indeed one of the straps shown below is from one used on a reindeer.

      Can you try doing a rubbing of the embossing? some ‘onion skin’ type paper over it and gently rub a soft pencil to try and raise the letters. I am trying to see if it is something like Roland River or Rivera or some such, to try and see if it’s a foundry mark.

      Interestingly enough there is one mention of a “roland” bell here on this site (search option at the top right!) which alludes to it being possibly produced by the Baltimore Plow Co. It will be interesting to see if you are anywhere near there!

      Hopefully this is of some use to you, and you can provide some additional information to help us help you!

      Garry

    • #17862
      abbyjo723
      Participant

      Thanks for providing wonderful information! The bell was purchased in Cedarburg, Wisconsin. It is not magnetic (so, brass?). And I tried the pencil trick and still came up with “Roland _Rivei”. I also saw there was another mention of Roland on the site, but I couldn’t come up with anything beyond that. Thanks for being on the case!

    • #17863
      Garry
      Participant

      Interesting, you are reasonably close for it to be from Baltimore.

      I am wondering though, if the last word is “RIVET”

      (Roland Rivet is a person’s name, and may have been embossed on the bell. Is it a common name or a known name in your area?)

      Just a thought.

      Garry

    • #17864
      abbyjo723
      Participant

      The second “i” could possibly be a “t” and it definitely feels like there was a letter at one time before the “r” in the second word as it is a very worn spot. I’ll have to ask around the area, I just don’t know any bell collectors in the southeast Wisconsin/ northern Illinois area. But I’ll try my best and see if I can come up with anything.

    • #17865
      Garry
      Participant

      Usually the words would be centered. from the photo it looks like a 5 letter word is lined up with the upper word. If you add another in front you likely would need another on the back to keep it in the middle.

      I was thinking more of you doing a local search in phone books or local museums for the name. (I am in Canada and on the other side of the continent so that would be a bit of a challenge for me to do!) I am wondering if there was a significant sized rancher in the area with that name or something like that.

      As we add to this posting, other ABA members will notice it and hopefully let us know if they have additional information.

      Garry

    • #17866
      abbyjo723
      Participant

      Ahhh hah! I intern at a museum, I didn’t even think of asking them! I’ll be on the case tomorrow.

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