Welcome to the ABA! Bell Talk Forums Small Bells Very Old Bronze Bell

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    • #11264

      Ron F. writes:

      Hello. I have an unusual Bell. It is rather primitive in some aspects and also appears to be very old. I bought it at an estate auction and am trying to find out about it. I looked in the forum AND read about a dozen inquiries and looked at forum photos.

      I cannot decipher the makers mark. I have included the description as well as photos of the bell. I would appreciate any information. I am thinking they may not be English.


      This bell is unusual in many aspects.

      FIRST – the bell is NOT round on the bottom. In fact it is not uniform at all. It has different angles.

      The differences in thickness of the bottom part of the Bell is noticeable.when you look closely –

      One side – 6 millimeters
      One side – 5 millimeters
      One side – 3 millimeters
      In other words one side is twice as thick as the other side.

      Then it has an unusual decoration. The decoration must be intentional as it exists on three sides.
      There is a white spot near the top of the bell. That is a drop of white paint which I scraped partly off with my thumbnail.

      There is the apparent age, design and the three articulated swing links. It also has a place for a rope to be attached. The Bell itself is very clear and loud. It doesn’t just clang it rings.

      It also appears to be very old given the accumulation of oxidation / corrosion.

      It has a projecting makers mark which I cannot decipher.

      Dimensions –
      Height – 10 inches including the articulated links
      Width of Bell opening – approximately 4 – 1/2″
      Hanging length from end of last link to bottom of bell – 15″ 1/2:
      The bottom of the opening of the bell has three double projections on the bell lip that form a triangle.

      The unusual shaped 4 arm Clapper of the bell hangs 2 – 1/4” below the opening of the bell.

      Weight of Bell Assy. 4 pounds 5 Oz.

      If you can help, please post a response.

      This inquiry was originally sent to the ABA’s Internet Coordinator. Responses are opinions of individuals based on their personal research and knowledge.

    • #14940

      Hi Ron, and welcome!

      I too had a bell similar to this one, and it took me some time to find the answer too. Fortunately some very knowledgeable members on this site were kind enough to point me to the answer.

      If you search this discussion group for “my children” you will see the similar bell that I posted earlier.

      You appear to have a Costani Brass wind chime bell. If you bounce an e-mail to me I can give you the website (they sell bells there so it’s against the rules to post the website) or simply do a search for Costani Bells and it will pull up the web page. In fact, the second bell from the left on the main (home) page looks very much like your bell. You appear to be missing the ‘sail’ portion of your bell and you can get a replacement for it here too.

      These bells are still produced today. They are meant to be placed outside in the elements and, I suspect, are constructed deliberately to provide the corrosion patina as part of the design. It can make one suspect that they are older than they appear though.

      Beautiful bells, I hope you enjoy yours as much as I enjoy mine!


    • #14938

      This is a wind chime produced by Paolo Soleri, an Italian architect who studied architecture at Talesin West in Arizona. These bells are sold via his subsidiary, Cosanti Originals, based in Paradise Valley, AZ. He is an architect who developed Arcosanti, an earth sheltered development north of Phoenix. These are modern art bronze wind chimes that can be purchased today. You may wish to check out his websites. This is a beautiful bell and should be mounted outdoors in a windy location so that you can enjoy its music when the breezes blow.
      Harry Long, MD

    • #14939

      I want to thank the members who contributed posts to uncover and conclusively identify this bell. I was surprised to find out that my bell was modern! I suppose you could more accurately say “very modern”

      In particular I would like to thank Joan of the United Kingdom chapter or branch that submitted my bell to Carolyn and Carolyn herself who was so kind to post my inquiry and photographs.

      I was really surprised to find out that there are so many avid bell collectors and additionally that there are so many different types of bells.

      I had thought in thinking of old bells that it mostly referred to the large variety of decorative glass bells.I was obviously wrong.

      I have a suggestion for members to perhaps greatly increase interest as well as membership.

      Write a 1, 2, 3, page introduction about bells and bell collecting. Mention that bells are obtainable at estate sales, auctions, garage sales etc:. Bells range from small miniatures to very large Bronze and from pennies to thousands of dollars to purchase. Also that some bells have histories attached to them.

      I have read some of the posts about bells that members have ‘found’ – >Discovered< like digging for an old coin is probably more apt. It is very interesting.
      I was intrigued by the Assyrian Bell (beheaded soldiers). People today have no conception of the savageness, ferocity and ruthlessness of wars through past history. Any kind of puncture wound meant sure death. Even open wounds were likely to cause death from infection. The conquerors often slaughtered those they conquered en masse.

      I will ask my Assyrian girlfriend about it. She speaks and writes Assyrian and Arabic and left Iraq about 15 years ago. Assyrians are Catholic. She is watching her grandson while her daughter is away working for the Govt. The problem is she does not have access to a computer at the moment.

      In the past towns had what were called the “Town Crier” He walked through the town and rang a belll and made a particularly important announcement. I would like to get one of those.

      One question I have is – How often were bells either dated OR embellished with a makers mark?

      Anyway thanks very much

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