October 20, 2017 at 5:41 pm #25819
I was given a tub of bells, literally. Most I will be keeping but some are quite unusual (to me) and I’m looking to pass them on to someone who might be interested. Anyone willing to shed some light on what these bells are and what their value may be?
The first is a large claw bell…it is heavy and quite big. It has a clergy kind of sound.
The second is a set of carved wood bells with Bali Nei written on them.
Then there are 4 random bells, all with beautiful sound.
Any thoughts/opinions would be greatly appreciated!
October 20, 2017 at 5:44 pm #25820
October 20, 2017 at 5:45 pm #25822
October 20, 2017 at 5:45 pm #25824
February 26, 2018 at 4:35 pm #26081GarryParticipant
Sorry about the late reply. I don’t get on this site as often right now as work is interfering.
You have some nice bells here Katie!
The first is a fine decorative claw bell. Is the ‘pea’ inside metal or a rock or other? That somewhat indicates age. This type of bell was hung from large animals, mostly elephants. The straps around the animal would have ‘button holes’ where the flat part on top of your bell would ‘button into’ and thus hang, but not rub into the skin. The highly decorative scroll work indicates it was largely for ornamental purposes.
The wooden bells are three animal bells hung together. Typically these were used in countries that were not metal rich, so Thailand, Korea etc. Just like the metal cousins, this allowed the farmer to find his herds in the wild (trees etc).
The final set of bells I could not enlarge, but look to be interesting. You might look for marks on them. From left to right; small India bell, hanging small door/animal bell, Presentation <?> bell (maybe?), desk tap bell. very nice, I have a couple of these myself and always look to add to them.
What others do you have?
March 10, 2018 at 5:59 am #26195
May 12, 2018 at 3:46 pm #26705Carolyn WhitlockParticipant
One of the reasons we encourage people to join the American Bell Association is so they can learn more about their bells. As you realize by now, that are “zillions” of kinds of bells and many variations of basically the same bell. Of course, the condition of the bell affects its value, too.
You have been given a wonderful gift of bells! There are many people in the American Bell Association who have been collecting, researching, and/or playing handbells or carillons for a many years. Our knowledge has been learned over time. We are glad to share our knowledge but we are not certified appraisers nor do we have paid staff to help with identification of bells. We are an all-volunteer organization.
We are happy to suggest resources where people can learn about their bells. For instance, if you go to you will find a list of 87 books that can help you learn about different kinds of bells. Many of these books can be found in public libraries or may be able to be borrowed from other area libraries. They can often be found for sale online from stores who sell new and used books.
As far as value of bells is concerned, if you’re interested in selling some or all of your bells, you might want to consider paying a bell or antiques appraiser or, perhaps, an auctioneer. Just keep in mind, though, when you ask for value on the ‘Bell Talk’ forum, you are asking for an opinion and that person may or may not know what today’s market and demand is.
No one wants to sell something and then realize they have been ripped off. It’s best to do your own research by joining the American Bell Association, going to antique shows, antique shops, Goodwill and other thrift shops, etc. and look for the prices of bells like those you want to sell.
May 15, 2018 at 1:12 pm #26717
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