Does anyone have any information about Sarna brass bells? I have a bell shaped like a turtle. The handle holds small stick incense. It is inscribed Sarna Brass 79?
Sarna grew up in India until he emigrated to the US when he was about 20 years old. I believe he left home because he did not want to marry the girl his parents had picked out for him (arranged marriage was the norm in India during the 20th century).
He attended college in the US and started selling Indian crafts to raise money. Bells seemed to sell the best. He bought many different kinds of bells in India, imported them to the US and often ‘made up’ descriptions of the bells and their use for tags attached to the bells. He found that bells with descriptions and names sold better.
‘Bells of Sarna’ was a very successful endeavor for him – and for the craftspeople of India. There are millions of Sarna bells, and an untold number of different bell designs. I recently purchased a dozen different bells in the shape of various animal heads. While I’ve been collecting bells for 30 years (my first bells were Sarna bells), there were many characters I had never seen before. As far as I know, there is no definitive catalog of all the Sarna bells.
Sarna belonged to the American Bell Association. The tags on many of his bells had the ABA information and an address. I understand that we occassionally still receive inquiries (yours being one) from the info on the tags.
Sarna died in the late 1970’s. His daughter, Sita is an active member of ABA. She lives in India and attended last year’s convention.
Hope the info is what you were looking for.
Thank you very much for the information about Sarna bells. Any information is appreciated. It is interesting finding some of the history of Sarna bells. Thanks again, Joyce J.