Welcome to the ABA! Bell Talk Forums Large Bells US Navy Bell question

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    • #10535

    • #12965
      Peter Hyde

      Sorry I cannot help but I can say how much I appreciated seeing your fine collection!


    • #12966

      Beautiful collection. Unfortunately, I don’t have any expertise in this area either.

    • #12967

      Tim, I don’t want to alarm you but I spend a lot of time on the ebay antiques board helping people tell whether their items are old or not. The bells on your site are not pre-WWII. The shape is wrong, the engraving does not appear to be the right type, clapper looks wrong, metal color looks more like brass than the older Navy bell metal, which is a whitish color due to 20% tin and 80% copper. The USN engraving on older Navy bells is always a single, deep cut, rounded at the bottom. You can do some research on the web to see what real, older Navy ship bells look like.

      Those bells are also only made in certain regulation sizes depending on size of boat or ship they are for. The Navy museum told me the bell specs changed somewhat after about 1940, and I can’t find that email, but I am certain the bells on your site are commercially-produced decorator items rather than official USN ship’s bells.

    • #12968

      Thanks for the feedback.

      >I know what I have and I know they are genuine.

      Would you mind sharing with us how you are sure of that? I sure hope I’m wrong and you are right, but if you could give me some facts to make me smarter, it would really be helpful.

      I have to admit I have been an “Ebay busybody” as you put it, for many years, and have dealt in antiques, particularly antique weapons, under the name “Springfield Arsenal” for many years. I answer an average of 3 questions a day on Ebay discussion boards, trying to help people determine what they have. I’ve answered quite a few bell questions there too.

    • #12969

      Here’s a site offering a bell like yours for sale. I’m sorry I don’t know enough to vouch for all they have to say about it (the first one on the site is the one like yours.) I do know that I’ve never seen a USN bell with an incised “USN” cast into it, the ones I’ve seen all had the USN engraved.

      The second bell, on the site, with “smooth sides” looks right to me for a standard-issue type small USN bell that you would requisition out of the supply system.


    • #12970
      Kevin Noone

      I understand that bells/whistles are used to mark the departure of officers from a ship in the U.S. Navy and would like to ring our bell in accordance on his last day. ” As for the bell it is used when the skipper actually walks on or off the ship with a ring of the bell and the announcement using the name of the ship to refer to its commanding officer, e.g. “Constellation,arriving/departing.”


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