Welcome to the ABA! Bell Talk Forums Small Bells Turtle Bell info (Please)

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    • #11282

      I have a lil turtle bell that I don’t know much about.
      Any help would be great.
      This is stamped on the bottom
      No 19536
      No 30366
      Head and Tail ring

    • #14994

      This bell is the typical pattern of a Toledo, Spain mechanical turtle bell. Most have the Damascene gold & silver inlay on the shell. This one is crudely carved with paint in the cloisons. It does appear to have the name Toledo above the Etruscan Warrior’s head. It is clearly different than the ones displayed by Carolyn in another thread of this forum.
      Harry Long, MD

    • #14991

      I am thinking about selling this lil bell.
      But have no idea what it’s worth.
      It all works.
      Can someone give me a general idea?
      I’m just not a bell collector.


    • #14990

      You might want to do a lookup on the patent numbers to give you some idea of the maximum age of the bell (has to be after the patent date or it couldn’t be stamped into the brass!). It might also give you some idea of the history of the bell (manufacturer).

      I am NOT an expert in these bells, I just have a relatively new interest in them. I am just offering my opinion for free -and sometimes you get what you pay for! Please don’t be upset if I am wrong -ok? That said, It is difficult to give an accurate valuation for a bell simply from a photo. I do recall however, seeing these bells being sold a few years ago (about 10 – before I started into bell collecting) and assuming my memory isn’t totally shot, they were about $50 back then. So in good working order and assuming you have some history on it (that it’s not a knock off for example), if I were selling them, I would be looking for at least $35 and hoping for closer to $70. The fancy ones that Harry is talking about, and boy are they fancy!, seem to be in the $300 ranges. But there you are looking at inlays of semi precious materials and significantly higher quality.

      Searching the web for examples would probably be fruitful.

      Hopefully others might give you closer answers, but that is my best guess from what I can see.

      You can try selling them here as well, there is a forum to sell the bells you can put it in. Then you are targeting bell people. Otherwise the obvious sites would work too.

      Hopefully this helps!


    • #14992
      Carolyn Whitlock


      One way to find out the value of your turtle bell is to follow eBay for a few weeks and keep track of what the BOJ turtle bells are going for these days. Simply search for “turtle bells”. It is not unusual to find at least one BOJ bell on there. Currently, there are two BOJ bells listed. One is at $145 and the other has a “buy it now” price of $499!

      The damascene turtle bells are lovely but so are the painted ones like yours and so are the plain brass ones.

    • #14993

      I think Carolyn especially does know the best. From what I gather, these bells are of special interest to her. I agree fully that the unadorned brass ones are very nice too!
      The bells that I see out there, that I believe Carolyn is talking about, are all the fancier ones unfortunately, I think I would only use them only as a high end benchmark for yours.

      As for unadorned brass forms, the only one I found that was some what comparable to yours, was a wind up one sold back in September:
      50s BOJ TURTLE Telephone/Hotel/Desk Bell/Ringer-NR-MIB (#390086669394), US $77.00,
      Sorry but I don’t know if the ‘mechanical'(clockwork) forms are more or lesser value than the “manual” (no clockwork) form as I have not seen enough of them to tell. I suspect more, but I suggest that only from the point of view that the clockwork one would also have clockwork collectors interested in them (besides animal/turtle collectors and bell collector) and more competition usually means a higher price. However Scarcity would be another factor that could, for example, flip this around.

      I think that the words I first heard from Carolyn sum it up well, (if I may paraphrase you Carolyn!): In the end, the bells are simply only worth what someone is willing to pay for them.

      I do hope that Carolyn, Harry, and (to some small extent) I have been of some assistance! Carolyn and Harry are especially knowledgeable and a reliable source of great info!


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