Welcome to the ABA! Bell Talk Forums Large Bells Vanduzen and Tift Church Bell Info Please…

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    • #10772
      Gregory
      Participant

      Vanduzen and Tift Church Bell Info Please…

      Hi, I bought this beautiful bronze bell at an estate auction in Toledo Ohio over 20 years ago. It was the estate of a long time demolition business owner. It is about 16 3/4 ” high without the base and 10″ in diameter. the bell is 5/16″ thick and the base’s metal is thinner.
      I have no idea what year it was made. It doesn’t say Buckeye on it. It sounds so beautiful and long. I haven’t cleaned it because I’m not sure if I should in case I ever want to sell it , plus I’m not sure how best to clean it. What did they originally strike it with? I’ve used different types and sizes of wood and wooden items to sound it.
      Where in the church was it placed?
      And of course, what its value is.

      Thank you, I’m going to go ring it now.

    • #13482
      lucky13
      Member

      Gregory: You have a bronze sanctus bell from a Catholic church used on the altar during mass. Many collectors prefer the natural patina so it should not be polished away. Mine came with it’s original wood mallet that looks like a courtroom gavel. They are plentiful and cheap on eBay if you want one. These bells probably have the most beautiful sound of any small bells. Go to Wikipedia or Google and enter sanctus bell for more information on it’s history and use. Buckeye Bell Foundry operated under Van Duzen & Tift between 1865 and 1894. Check out the Oct 26, 2008 post (Wheeling, WV) in this forum for a picture of the foundry. This type bell usually brings around $200 on eBay, sometimes a bit less, sometimes a bit more.

    • #13483
      Gregory
      Participant

      Thank you, Lucky 13 for your reply,
      I Will check that out. $200 doesn’t sound like much for such a beautiful sounding bell. I get more than $200 worth of joy listening to it. I thought it might be worth 350 to 500. Since I may hang on to it I might just clean it to see how beautiful it looks shiny, I’m tired of looking at a dull finish.
      I’m still curious to when it may have been made and how many were made.

      Also I did put a small block of wood on the end of a dowel for a mallet to strike it a few years ago. I’ll probably carve myself a nice one, thanks. Metals sound too harsh and may damage it, some woods are too soft, but you can get different volumes and timbres with different types and sizes of wood strikers.

      Sincerely , Gregory

    • #13484
      lucky13
      Member

      You’re right, two hundred seems a bargain but religious artifacts don’t do well on eBay I’ve noticed unless they are made of precious metals (silver, gold, etc). My mallet is made of oak. You can probably get one for $20 or less on eBay if you don’t want to bother making one.

    • #13485
      hjlong3
      Participant

      These bells are quite common. They come with 1, 2, or 3 tiered gongs. They were produced in the late 1880s-early 1900s and were used as Santus bells in Roman Catholic Churches. I bought 2 3-tiered bells a few years ago for $100 each from a church that no longer used them. A single tiered bell would be high priced at $200 and should bring about $100-150.
      Harry Long, MD

    • #13486
      Gregory
      Participant

      Thank you both for the replies. You’ve been very helpful.

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