trying to find info on a bell
June 26, 2015 at 2:44 pm #12583
I have a large bell (6.5 ” diameter and 7″ tall) dated 1834 in large writing with a foundry stamp that looks a bit like a dragon but no other markings. It looks very much like a bell that was previously debated at great length on this forum. Can anyone help me find out some history on this! Thanks and have a good day!
June 30, 2015 at 8:25 am #18006
Thanks to admin for sorting out the pictures… Now I look forward to any information any of you forum readers can provide for me! I would really like to find out more about the history of this bell, where it came from and particularly where it was made. thanks all.
July 6, 2015 at 9:21 pm #18007GarryParticipant
Do you also have a photo of the inside with the clapper?
I’d like to see what type of clapper and how it’s attached before I comment please!
July 21, 2015 at 10:20 pm #18008
Thanks for replying!! I struggled to get images on here admin had to help out. The clapper cast brass and hangs from a ring. It has a large ball at the bottom. I would happily send you a pic by email if that is possible as a real struggle to get pics on here!! Is it possible to send to your email? Thanks chris
July 22, 2015 at 4:24 am #18009nightflier51Participant
I did some research but could not come up with any info about whether the original bell in the sinking ship Titanic was ever found. I do know the Edmond Fitzgerald bell was salvaged and a ringing ceremony was done and the bell was rung 29 times. If anyone knows if the original Titanic bell was found, please let us know.
July 22, 2015 at 9:47 pm #18010Carolyn WhitlockParticipant
July 27, 2015 at 2:10 am #18011GarryParticipant
Wow, the way things move in a forum!
To answer the last question first (Nightflier’s), the last documentary I saw said yes, one bell was salvaged from the Titanic. Remember that ships this size usually had multiple bells for communication all over. There were usually smaller ones on each deck, front and back (stem/stern) of the craft and each level. (If you fell overboard, for example, someone would race to the nearest bell and ring it madly yelling for help! (Man overboard). The lookouts in the crows nest might be supplied with one there too! I don’t know how many the Titanic had, or where they were, but there certainly would have been more than one. I believe that one team salvaged a deck bell, but the main bell was left by all out of respect. I think they were displaying it in Belfast (where the ship was made).
The bell that Clennox is asking about does appear to have all the hallmarks of a smaller ships bell that was hung from a bracket (a somewhat newer innovation). Larger / older bells had ‘loops’ placed at 90 degrees that looked like the ‘typical’ metal frame of a king’s crown (hence called the bell’s crown) through which ropes were strung to tie it to a spar (or later a metal frame) for hanging. The clapper is rough cast and hung from what appears to be a threaded loop of iron(?) [test with a magnet please!] at the top. Often older bells I find had a mounting bar or point cast into them for strength and to avoid the different metals from reacting with each other. The rougher cut clapper indicates that this more likely came from more of a ‘working’ boat as the more fancier the bell the higher the cost and therefore the higher the ‘quality’ of craft that carried it. So something like a car ferryboat maybe? It was rung manually by a lanyard hung from the clapper.
I am thinking that we will eventually discover that the stamp is the mark of the ship’s line and for some reason I think ‘Greek’ when I see it. You might want to do a search for shipping line logos to see if you get a hit.
Can you give us any idea of the history of the bell when you got it? Knowing which continent the seller or you found it on and which coast (or whatever) helps to narrow down the identification!
It would be a different kind of search knowing that you found it in a Great Lakes (North America) salvage yard VS an Australian shipwreck antique shop for example! Any details you can supply could help.
The Number on the side looks like a date, but remember it could be for anything, not just the ship itself. For example it might be the founding date for the Company which ordered it, or the date (or bell model number) of the original bell mold. Smaller bells like this, I find usually don’t have a ‘special’ bell mold made for them with the craft’s launching date so I suspect the same here.
It does appear to have some wear on the inside (although I am thinking, if it’s hung from an iron ring, that it hasn’t seen much water – no rust!), so I am thinking more towards ‘vintage’ than ‘antique’.
Hope this helps so far!
July 27, 2015 at 3:37 am #18012Carl Scott ZimmermanParticipant
Perhaps by coincidence, I’ve just seen photos of a bell very much like this, except that the date is clearly 1839. It’s located in Australia, and the owners know nothing of its origin.
February 9, 2017 at 8:01 pm #25150Dsham57Member
I just bought the exact same bell only dated 1839 in Md from an antique dealer. There seems to be many of these bells around dated either 1834 or 1839. I’ve found info on some of these bells being auctioned off in the UK and one person bought a house in the US with this bell hanging in the front of his house. I think they are knock offs or fakes, but mine seems to be bronze and has excellent tone. There are just too many of these bells around witch leads me to believe that they could be fake, but sound and quality (bronze) has me confused. I also found a recent remake of the same bell(with out stamp just has date and is brass) from a UK company that says their remakes are being made in Italy. Any help as where these bells are from?
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