Welcome to the ABA! Bell Talk Forums Large Bells Saved from the Scrap Yard!

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    • #11882
      shawng
      Participant

      Recently at a local scrap yard I caught a guy before he unloaded this off his truck.

      I am not a bell expert, but I knew this was very old and possibly rare. The fact that all parts are there including the original(?) wood mount seems pretty rare to me.

      Looking for assistance in identifying and a possible value to the bell.

      It is cast iron. It measures 23 1/4″ in diameter. Unfortunately it is late and I don’t have a height measurement but took some great photos. I have not weighed it but my guess is it is around 150lbs. just for the bell/wheel/yoke.

      It says No 24 Yoke, it seems there are some flaws (character?) in the casting but there are no apparent cracks and it rings/resonates nicely. There are some other No. 24 markings on it as you can see in the photos.

      Inside the bell it looks like there is a raised 1807 or 1887 from the casting, I don’t want to remove any of the patina as I know this often lowers the value of such objects, and tried to use a paper/pencil to trace over but to no avail.

      I live near Bakersfield California so don’t know if there were any local (or California) foundries, not that the bell could have come from anywhere in the USA.

      The gentleman I acquired the bell from was Latino (non-English speaking) and my Spanish is poor but from what I understand he got it from cleaning a barn, where it was stored, not installed.

      Thanks in advance for any help with this!










    • #16600
      jackbell
      Participant

      Your bell was made in Hillsboro, Ohio by CS Bell Co. Type “hillsboro” in the search (above right) for numerous posts or Google CS Bell Co. Being in such good condition makes it a choice find but Hillsboro bells are not particularly rare. The company cast hundreds of thousands from 1875 into the 1930’s and they were marketed world-wide. The date was cast as mo, day, and yr (Jan 8, 1907). Most Hillsboro bells bore no date. For some reason the larger ones were dated during certain periods of the company’s operation. I’ve only seen dates for the years 1898 to 1910 and 1918 to 1921. Some bells bore the company name and many that were made for retailers such as Sears Roebuck were only marked with size numbers. Your bell was probably purchased through a mail-order catalog for use in a country school or small church. Go over it with a steel brush then brush on a couple coats of Rustoleum. Gloss black, silver, bronze, or dark red look good on bells. You can paint the bell one color and the wheel, yoke, A frames, and clapper a contrasting color. I’m glad you rescued it. Now you can ring in the new year.

    • #16601
      Carolyn Whitlock
      Participant

      I can’t tell you anything about your bell but I sure do thank you for saving it from being melted down and gone forever!

      Carolyn

    • #16602
      shawng
      Participant

      Thank you for all the insight. After searching for hours after posting, I kind of thought it was a CS Bell.

      Considering the “completeness” and condition, any idea what value this bell has?

    • #16603
      Carolyn Whitlock
      Participant

      Shawn,

      If you do a search as jackbell suggested, you’ll find that many people have offered opinions of the value of various sizes of C.S. Bell Co. bells.

      Carolyn

    • #16604
      shawng
      Participant

      Carolyn I have tried a search but the settings you have on the forum provides these results:

      My search was “24” C.S. Bell”

      The results were “The following words in your search query were ignored because they are too common words: bell 24 c s.”

      I guess I will have to go through the 100’s of posts one by one.

    • #16605
      jackbell
      Participant

      Watch eBay. Hillsboro bells in the size range as yours are listed there fairly often. As I’ve said before, a bell is only worth the highest amount a buyer is willing to spend. I purchased one exactly like yours a year ago for $600 but I’ve seen them sell higher and lower.

    • #16606
      Carolyn Whitlock
      Participant

      You’ve discovered why jackbell suggested you search for “Hillsboro”. That will save you a lot of time. The ABA is in the process of upgrading its website and a better search feature will be included in the revision.

      The ABA is an all-volunteer organization for bell collectors. No one gets paid to do research for people. Any opinions of value that you read on the “Bell Talk” Forum are just that — opinions. The ABA does not give appraisals and does not maintain a list of appraisers. Another avenue you may try is to look on that famous online auction site to see if they have one listed in your size and, if so, how much they are asking for it or to see what it sold for.

      Good luck!
      Carolyn

    • #16607
      shawng
      Participant

      Thank you everyone for all your help. I know ultimately the value of the bell is “What the market will bear” as is with most antiquities and collectibles.

      I asked my question here not to have someone research it for me, but if this is the place where bell collectors hang out online, I imagine most (active) members have seen this type of bell sell once or twice before I started my research on this particular one.

      I was doing a lot of searching on eBay, but without being able to properly identify it it was a little difficult. I do plan on selling the piece, whether online through auction or privately. Most likely other than replacing the one missing bolt where it is mounted to the 4×4 and making the whole assembly more sturdy I will leave the patina as-is. I figure if I clean it and paint it it will most likely get scratched in handling due to its bulk.

      It is a very nice bell and I have mixed emotions on letting it go, but where I live it’s tough to earn a living other than buying and selling or some other hustle. Already every time I walk by it I have to give it a ring or two, my guess is the neighbors are wondering “What the he..?” as I do live rural on a mountain and surely the sound is a travellin’! If I kept every cool or unusual item I come across, you would see me featured on the TV Show “Hoarders” ringing my bell. I hope to find a collector who appreciates it as much as me.

      Once again many thanks jackbell and Carolyn, I hope to find some more bells like this one and will probably let the guys at the scrap yard know to set aside anything like this that gets dropped off in the future.

    • #16608
      jackbell
      Participant

      The problem in selling large bells is the weight. A lot of people would probably like to own it but cannot afford the hundreds of dollars for shipping. Good luck!

    • #16609
      shawng
      Participant

      Yes, I understand the weight issue. With me, I am always up for a road trip. I am pricing it a little high but will deliver (doorstep only!) for free within 100 miles, and 200-300 miles for a fee much smaller than freight shipping. I have to do that with many of the larger/heavy things I have sold. It’s a pain, but have to make a living somehow, and when I go on some of these trips, especially Los Angeles I do some picking for resale.

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