Robert Wells Bell?
January 4, 2009 at 12:11 am #11033GarryParticipant
I have what I believe might be a “robert wells” bell. It appears to be similar to the number 2 bell B32 style. BUT (isn’t there always a “but”?) I do not see the stamped #2 anywhere on the bell, not even on the tang for mounting it to it’s stand. Nor do I see his initials inside where I would expect them.
It has the style of that kind of bell though, of the 18th century (early 19th?)format. The mounting tang is iron, as is the 4 sided diamond shape clapper inside. The rest appears to be brass, with a well defined seam line.
(Robert Wells is a bell founder of Aldbourne Wiltshire”)
I don’t know if he did stamp the smaller bells though.
2″ tall, 2″ bell, Brass construction (sand molded?) with Iron tang attachment and Iron mace tetrahedral clapper.
January 5, 2009 at 7:51 pm #14349ClochardParticipant
It’s a nice bell and almost the shape of a Robert Wells. But I am not sure it is from that foundry because I think all the bells from there (from 1760 to 1826- with four different members of the family) have either RW or, less commonly, R WELLS cast inside.It is also thicker than the RW bells in my collection. But I might be wrong.
January 6, 2009 at 5:33 am #14350Peter HydeMember
Have a look at this example of a Robert Wells bell. Note the shape and the mark.
I had a new leather handle fitted by the Whitechapel Foundry.
January 6, 2009 at 7:00 pm #14348hjlongMember
This bell has a rough finish and distinct mold marks on its sides suggesting a 2 piece mold and failure to buff off the mold marks by the manufacturer. The clapper appears to be a decorative steel nail that has been fashioned as a clapper. The tang has some rust around the mounting hole suggesting that it was mounted to a strap or other device with a steel rivet or bolt. Given the workmanship, I would estimate the age of this bell as less than 10 years, as even 50 years ago, the manufacturer would have attempted to buff off the mold marks. I doubt that this is a Robert Wells bell.
Harry Long, MD
January 6, 2009 at 7:19 pm #14347GarryParticipant
Thanks for your input All!
I suspect it is not a Wells bell now too, but I did find an image that was close to the design of this one, but with the RW marks, so I wasn’t sure.
While I agree with Harry about the mold marks, and not buffing it off, I think the clapper is more than a modified nail, it’s head is way too thick for that.
They also put a lot of effort to mold the Iron Tang into the brass bell, most of the reproduction or new bells simply drill a hole or make the whole thing either brass or iron from what I have seen.
I am now leaning towards an older but less mass produced manufacturer, possibly a student learning the arts – or a project piece from an apprentice.
Would that make sense?
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