We bought this bell 20 years ago at Jackalope in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Jackalope is an eclectic antique shop. They said it was a mission bell, but we were skeptical. Any insights would be greatly appreciated. We bought it as an anniversary gift to ourselves, so it is very special to us.
Welcome! Yours is a 20″ +/- school bell, cast iron (steel alloy) in the generic version of CS Bell foundry, Hillsboro, Ohio, cast in late 1890’s to early 1900’s. Without Bell’s name cast on the Yoke reverse, this generic form was sold through catalogues from the likes of Sears and Montgomery Ward. Our personal version has “STEEL ALLOY SCHOOL BELL” on the reverse of the “No. 20 YOKE”. Missing are the “A” stands, or belfry stands, one on each side of course. “Prindle Station” offers steel stands for a #4 bell also 20″ diameter, but the site is closed temporarily.
Lowerbells offers aluminum replacement stands.
Similar size and make bells show up on the auction site, and there’s at least one listed as of this date.
As for use as a mission bell, it may well have traversed the country and served in a mission, but it is not the bronze Spanish Mission bell known on the west coast along the Mission Trail.
It surely IS a special bell, and we hope you find cause to ring it more than annually!