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    • #10574

      Obtained a bell stamped as a “4 1/2 ” recently. No other markings. It’s in good shape and complete. The bell is constructed of cast iron and doesn’t appear to have ever been painted. It’s very heavy.
      The size is approx 19 inches tall plus the striker adjustment and approx 16 inches across, at least (8 inch dia). The bell has an attached arm to swing it. It rests on a “u” shaped “Y ” yoke.

      I have three questions:

      1. What would the origin of this bell be?

      2. Besides sand or media blasting it to remove surface corrossion, should I paint it?

      3. Any estimated value suggestions? No pics yet, sorry.

      We plan to erect it up in the garage cupola and use it for dinner calls etc on our hobby farm;

      Any other feed back would be greatly appreciated.

    • #13050
      Peter Hyde

      Without a photo it is impossible to identify your bell based on the information in your post.
      A little confused about your dimensions. One would normally express diameter as the distance accross the mouth of the bell. Is 19 inches the width of the yoke and 8 inches the diameter of the bell? A cast iron bell of that size would not be of particularly high value unless there was something really special about it.
      As for painting, remember it’s your bell and you can make the rules. Just do what you think having regard to the factors you think are important. But I’m a bit of a heretic when it comes to conventions. Seriously though, the only point of doing the right thing is to protect the bell against corrosion or to protect it’s value. Others may disagree.


    • #13051

      What you describe is a typical farm dinner bell that was sold in the Sears Catalogue from the 1880s-1950s. They are quite numerous and readily available. It will mount nicely where you plan to mount it and will serve the purpose for which it was cast. It is cast steel and difficult to harm. It can be sand blasted or buffed with a wire wheel on a drill or flexible shaft buffer. Since it is steel, the bare metal will quickly rust if not protected. A good metal primer followed by your favorite color of enamel will serve just fine. Many people use an aluminum or bronze paint as it gives the bell a metallic sheen.

      Harry Long, MD

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