Welcome to the ABA! Bell Talk Forums Small Bells Question about a Sarna Wishing Bell

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    • #10587

      I hope everybody’s doing well today.
      I have a question about a dainty little bell my mom had when I was a child. I thought perhaps someone who is knowledgeable about Sarna bells might be able to shed light on my little bell for me.
      When I was a little girl my mom had a bell that a friend had given to her and she always referred to it as an Indian Wishing Bell. It was a very small bell with a ring for a handle and a yellowish color and a wonderfully resonant tone for such a small bell. On the side of the bell were the words “to wish you well the wishing bell.” there also might have been a house etched on the bell as well. I’ve since heard that this might have been one of the famous Sarna bells though I can’t verify by having someone look on the inside of the bell as it’s since disappeared from my house sadly. Any way I was wondering if anyone might remember this bell and know for instance what year it might have been produced, in what kinds of stores it was sold and for what sort of price back then.
      I sure did love that bell and perhaps someday another will cross my path again. If you have this bell ring it a time or two for me and smile.

    • #13095
      Carolyn Whitlock

      Dear Robin,

      Welcome to the “Bell Talk” Forum!

      I enjoyed your story about the dainty little bell that your mom had when you were a child. I sold about 25 of my little Sarna bells last June at the Baltimore convention. I don’t remember having one that said, “To wish you well the wishing bell.” But we all know that Mr. Sarna produced many, many different little bells!

      I’ve looked in the July – August 1996 Bell Tower where there is an article on the Bells of Sarna that is a reprint of a May 1983 supplement that was prepared by R. Dean Shick and his wife Ardyce, who was national president of ABA in 1977. Although Dean and Ardyce have both passed away, their daughter, Kay Weaver, also a past national ABA president, carries on the interest in bells as does Kay’s husband, Ron Weaver, who has been our ABA Membership Chairman for many years now.

      The Bells of Sarna article is fantastic but I haven’t been able to find anything about your bell at a quick scan of the article. Perhaps someone else can answer your questions.

      Since I can’t help and I don’t want to “ring off” without giving you something, I will give you this poem by Jan C. Johnson that was printed in the same Bell Tower as the Sarna article.

      My Bells

      I love my bells, I truly do….
      I love them all, from you and you….

      Some are wooden and some are brass
      Some are ceramic and others glass.

      My bells are large to very small….
      My bells are short to very tall….

      They come from far, they come from near
      But to me all are very dear.

    • #13096

      Hi, Oh that was just a lovely poem thank you for sharing it with me (smile). Leave it to me to come up with a Sarna mystery (laughing). Perhaps you’re right and someone will have run across this bell as well. Ah yes I knoww Mr. and Mrs. Weaver quite well too.

    • #13097

      Hopefully you will be able to find your bell and check the inside skirt for the familiar SSSarna cast in it. These little brass bells were sold in “5 & Dime Stores” (GC Murphy, Kresge, Woolworths) during the 1950s and 60s as single bells. There were numerous inscriptions, many highlighted with brightly colored enamel. Some were bunched on cords and sold in gift shops with the Bells of Sarna card attached. The single bells sold for $0.25-0.75 when new, and the strings for a few dollars. There were also a number of similar Bells of India without the familiar SSSarna inside that were sold at about the same time. I do not know if Sarna imported them or not but they also came from the Indian Brass “Cottage Industry” of the same era.

      Harry Long, MD

    • #13098

      Thanks for letting me know about the pricing and the kinds of stores in which they’d be found. Hopefully my wish to find a Wishing Bell will come true someday (smile).
      Have a great day.

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