Please help identify bell
March 14, 2008 at 3:30 am #10834campanita78Participant
Hello! I am so excited to find this site! I have this bell that was passed down to me by my grandmother. She claims that it is gold (or gold and another metal) and that it goes back at least 150 years. If it helps, we come from South America. However, she says that it may have been left by the English in the 1800s. Does anyone know if it can get appraised (I live in NJ)?
I appreciate any input you can give me.
March 14, 2008 at 9:05 pm #13669GarryParticipant
I think I saw this in one of my bell books, I’ll check tonight for you.
Does it hold a magnet? (just to see if it’s plated iron).
What does the clapper on the inside look like? (As I recall, bells of this type either have NO clapper, a basic clapper, or – the fancier ones- clappers that look like the lady’s legs.
March 15, 2008 at 5:39 am #13670campanita78Participant
Hello.. thanks for responding. This bell doesn’t hold to a magnet. The clapper looks like a little jug made of the same material (I guess) since it doesn’t hold to a magnet either. The bell weighs like a 1/4 lb. Would you be able to give me the name of the book you think it is in? Thanks!
March 16, 2008 at 4:07 pm #13667GarryParticipant
What are the dimensions of the bell? From that you should be able to calculate out the metal content (gold is very heavy!) Or simply take it to a local jeweler, I would think that they should be able to confirm the metal type.
I was looking at the book “collectable bells” by “Donna S Baker”. The bell that most closely matches yours in the book is a 19th century (Yep that’s the 1800’s!) figure bell that she attributes to being either of Marry, queen of scots or Queen Victoria. Apparently there is some confusion there. The design is remarkably similar to yours, except the dress front is slightly different in it’s pattern.
No magnet should mean it’s not an iron plated bell, and I believe that makes it a bit more high end. The prices of similar type bells (not knowing the metal in it!) range from $15 us to as high as $250 from a quick scan of the internet. Depending on the metal content, yours could be at the high end I would think.
Hope that helps! Post what you find out, I’d be curious!
March 17, 2008 at 1:46 pm #13671hjlongMember
I’m not an expert on figurine bells, but this bell looks very modern, appears to be brass or bronze, not gold. The hairstyle is not Elizabethan, but rather of the era of the French Revolution. I suspect that this is a replica of Madame Pompadour or Josephine. Stan & Blanche Klevan wrote a nice article for the Bell Tower many years ago on Figurine & Figural bells and made a slide presentation that is available through the ABA Special Services Chairman. There have been other articles in the Bell Tower concerning Figurine Bells over the years, but I do not know in which issues they were published. More information may be found in these resources.
Harry Long, MD
March 17, 2008 at 4:17 pm #13668Denise KushnerParticipant
I have one of the same bells except it is a little more detailed. The very bottom of the dress has flowers on it and the face is much better. The bells wear down and lose detail over the years when they are constantly polished. I know some bell owners disagree with this, but I believe its true. Your bell has been polished for years and the brass is worn. The bell may be from the 1800’s, but may be a later reproduction of an earlier bell and is probably brass. Brass lady bells were widely used during the late 1800’s and early 1900’s as bells to call the servants. They often made the bells in the same pattern but in different sizes. My bell is 3.5 inches tall. Since the bell is from your Grandmother it is a family treasure. 🙄
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