PLEASE help identify this bell
February 20, 2012 at 2:26 pm #12008fireman452Participant
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I have had this bell since 1976 when it was given to me as a gift in Eastern Europe. I was told that the person who gave it to me got it in Switzerland. I was also told by someone else that he MIGHT not have gotten it legitimately – meaning he might have taken it from a cow 🙄 – It is considered very bad manners to refuse a gift and then on top of it suggest the person stole it, but since I do not KNOW this happened I am content to hold on to it for the time being.
I would appreciate anyone being able to tell me more about the crest, etc on the bell – there are NO other markings that identify where this thing might have come from – just the same flowers etc that you see on the image – by the way it has a WONDERFUL voice – ring it inside and people run for cover with their hands over their ears – yeah it is that load!!!!
Thank you in advance for any help you might be able to offer
February 20, 2012 at 10:55 pm #16871
Hey Fireman 452, this is Chief250! (Yep, we both know what those numbers mean!)
Yes, you have a nice animal bell, likely for sheep. The three flowers on it look to me to be edelweiss (my spelling is probably out to lunch) but it is the national flower of Switzerland. Ever watch “sound of music”? The photo is pretty washed out so I’ll have to take your word for it, that it is a goat. It would make sense though, as that is the symbol for the city state “canton of Schaffhausen” which is a northern Switzerland and is a symbol used in shields of both Germany and Switzerland. (This canton borders Germany and historically has included land on both sides of the border.)
Wonderful bells, this looks relatively new and they are in great use in tracking sheep etc. in that area (sound travels a great distance!). Typically the more decorative the bell is the more prized the animal (decorative bells costs more!). It’s a great story, but more likely a store acquired piece as there doesn’t appear to be a lot of wear on it. Plus imagine trying to corral the critter just to get it’s bell! As you don’t give the size, I am guessing it’s a smaller bell from the material lying on the table around it for comparison, which would make it a sheep or goat sized animal bell.
The most famous of these bell types is the CHIANTEL FONDEUR, SAIGNELEGIER Bell which is always turning up for sale on various websites. This is because it has the date 1878 in the mold (the year the MOLD was made). The Chiantel Foundry was a producer of wonderful items and this bell mold was so successful that, when the Foundry closed, it was bought up and bells from it are still produced today! Of course people think the date makes it an antique, not realizing the history. So the form you have is a very successful one!
But keep the story with it! It adds to the mystery.
Hope this helps!
February 22, 2012 at 1:54 am #16872fireman452Participant
I kinda doubt that anyone would put this bell on a sheep – the mouth of the bell is 8inches across and there is in fact a great deal of wear on the metal strap holder – as to the designs – on the other side of the bell there are two birds and they look like they might – I say MIGHT be roosters – but not sure of that
February 22, 2012 at 9:46 pm #16873
8 inches? Ok, then yes, you are looking at a large animal bell such as a cow or some such.
Sorry but as I mentioned, I took a guess from the photo of the size since that data wasn’t present. I believe the rest of the comments still apply though. Roosters are a pretty common heraldic symbol in many countries, so I don’t know if that will help much in narrowing it down. Perhaps someone else might be able to add more details.
March 6, 2012 at 8:30 am #16874ecookerMember
I love your bell it looks wonderful. I have already seen a similar bell like you are showing here and they really used it for the goats. My mum also loves such bells and due to this I am planning to buy such a bell with cute flowers on it and give it her on mothers day,.
@gmiddleton: Thanks for sharing the link. I will definitely order a bell there for my mum.
March 6, 2012 at 8:11 pm #16875
oops- me bad.
I was just trying to find a photo of the bell in use. I hadn’t looked close enough at the site to see that it actually sold bells.
I guess we are not supposed to post sites like that, because we can’t endorse any particular retail site.
I haven’t dealt with them, so can’t say either way anything about them.
But the bell in the photo is interesting and shows how it hangs and gives you some interesting history on how they ‘bell’ the animals.
I found it interesting that they are supposed to carry the bells the last mile themselves.
Glad to be of assistance!
March 14, 2012 at 1:37 am #16870hjlong3Participant
I once spoke with a Swiss dairy farmer in Virginia who had many of these bells of various sizes made for his cattle. He said that the bell would be matched to the weight of the animal with 1 pound of bell for every 100 pounds of animal. This bell would have been used on a cow and not a sheep.
Harry Long, MD
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