May 24, 2009 at 9:44 am #11132maartenParticipant
Over the years we have collected three so called Victory Bells ( as on the ABA home page)
They are all different, in detail, size, material etc. One even never got a clapper. As these bells were produced in aid of the RAF benevolent fund I have contacted them, but without succes.
Does anyone know more about these bells, who produced them, why the materials differ etc.
Diana and Maarten Rooderkerk, Netherlands
May 25, 2009 at 1:07 am #14637Carolyn WhitlockParticipant
I have two Victory bells, one of which is the one on the main page of the ABA website. I did some online research and this is what I learned:
Cast from alloy salvaged from a shot down Luftwaffe aircraft between 1939-1945 and sold in the early post-war period to raise funds for RAF charities. Features in relief Churchill, Stalin and Roosevelt and with Churchill’s victory V to the handle. Bell is made from metal that came from German aircraft shot down over Britain. The Bell measures approximately 5 & 1/2″ tall, and is 4 & 1/2″ wide at the base. Raised relief busts of the Allied Leaders, FDR, Winston Churchill, and Joseph Stalin, are cast on the sides of the bell. Around the bottom is cast the verbiage “Cast With Metal From German Aircraft Shot Down Over Britain 1939-1945 RAF Benevolent Fund.”
The RAF Benevolent Fund provides support to all members of the RAF family in need. If you have ever served in the Royal Air Force, or you are an immediate dependant of someone who served, then you may be eligible for assistance.
Grants, loans and advice are available for a broad range of help, including: mobility aids and specialist equipment for the sick and disabled; help with housing and accommodation; assistance in accessing and funding care; as well as individual grants to relieve specific financial need.
I bought my bell on ebay for $38.03 USD (67.89 ANG). I believe my second one was less expensive. It is also called the “WWII RAF Benevolent Fund Bell” but “Victory Bell” or “V for Victory Bell” is what I’ve always heard it called.
At the ABA Convention one year, someone told me she has a V for Victory Bell that does not have the writing along the bottom so there is at least one other version of this bell!
I’ll be anxious to see if someone else can tell us more!
June 1, 2009 at 2:52 am #14638
According to Donna Baker, it’s also known as the “Yalta Bell” as it shows the 3 allied leaders who met at the Yalta Conference in Feb 1945 to discuss the defeat of Germany.
Just thought it’s an interesting variant of the name.
June 9, 2009 at 3:27 am #14639halanbParticipant
The Bell Tower Index lists only one entry on this bell, a short letter from Myrtle Parker (Australia) entitled “The V for Victory Bell” in Sep-Oct 1995. I knew I had seen other articles, but didn’t know when/where. Marie Varian, much more organized that I, supplied those references from her personal index. See Sally Roy “Three Versions of the Victory Bell,…” in Jun-Jul 1977; and Kay Nelson, 1980 Supplement, “Exciting New Facts of V For Victory Bell and Its Designer.”
I now have PDF versions of these articles and would be glad to send them to any ABA member who requests copies.
June 10, 2009 at 4:22 pm #14640AnonymousInactive
I have edited and posted the two articles from The Bell Tower that Alan has so kindly told us about. They really are an interesting read, especially if you know this bell. You can see them at:
The “Exciting New Facts of V For Victory Bell and Its Designer” has the story of the evolution of the creation of the bell told in the designer’s own words. Kay Nelson, the researcher and author, picked up where Sally Roy left off. Determined to find the designer, Kay shares her ultimate success story. I don’t think there could ever be a more authoritative account of this bell’s story!
Thanks, Alan, for making us aware of this important history and research that lies within our own history books! By the way, I have left out the details of Kay’s search so if you’re really interested in the complete article, I would urge you to take Alan up on his offer to send you a .pdf file of the article. A .pdf file is simply a document that you can not edit or change on your own computer. You shouldn’t have any trouble printing it out.
January 10, 2010 at 2:55 am #14642AnonymousInactive
One of the joys of being ABA’s Internet Coordinator is receiving kind offers like this one:
I came across your website whilst researching my family history, and found an article about the RAF Victory Bell on this link: viewtopic.php?f=19&t=1150 I believe it is an old posting. Conrad A Parlanti was my great uncle, and if you would still like any information on him I would be happy to help. His father, Ercole Parlanti, was one of two brothers who were amongst the finest bronze founders of their generation. Kind regards Steve Parlanti
I have written to Steve and asked for permission to put his email address here in case anyone wants to contact him.
Note: Steve has given permission to post his email address in case you want to contact him about his family of bell makers! email@example.com.
January 10, 2010 at 10:24 am #14641AnonymousInactive
Steve Parlanti has sent the following information to share with you:
Conrad Parlanti, designer of RAF Benevolent Bell
Corrado Antonio Parlanti (known as Dino to his family) was born on June 20th, 1903, in Fulham, London, to Ercole James Parlanti, who was a prominent bronze founder. Ercole and his older brother, Alessandro, who were both born in Rome to Antonio Parlanti, also an Art Bronze Founder, came to England sometime between the 1880s and 1901. It is believed that Alessandro came to England at the request of Sir Alfred Gilbert for whom he used to cast at the Nelli Foundry in Rome. Alessandro started his own foundry in Fulham casting for the top sculptors of the time with Ercole working for him. Around about 1918, Alessandro returned to Rome and Ercole started his own foundry in West Kensington, London. Ercole’s best known casting is the RAF War Memorial, the bronze eagle, on the Embankment. Conrad Parlanti would have been 20 years old as this was cast in 1923 and I spoke to Conrad’s daughter, Theodora Parlanti, who lives in America, who confirmed that Conrad had worked on this at his father’s foundry. As he got older, Corrado [Conrad] had his own foundries, in Teddington and Herne Bay, and had a number of other business ventures, including at one time being a co-owner of the Carron Metal Works in Falkirk. I believe Conrad’s foundries were more generalised than the bronze foundries of Ercole and Alessandro. In 1955, Conrad emigrated to America (California) and continued with is own company, developing a number of patents on the way. He continued to work right up until he died on 1st August 1984, in Tulare, California.
January 17, 2010 at 11:32 pm #14643kappsteParticipant
I also have a Victory bell without the writing at the bottom
January 18, 2010 at 8:48 pm #14644
I too have been researching these bells for a while (been trying to find one myself! Prices have been going too high though.). I have only come across ‘reliable’ references for the five variants. Oddly enough the best spot to see this is right here! 🙂 Do a search for
“V for Victory Bell” on this site to see the listing!
There is another that I have seen references to, but only once and I am not sure of the report’s reliability. It mentioned one of the portraits being replaced, but I’ll say no more as I don’t want to perpetuate what might very well be a falsehood.
October 18, 2012 at 7:55 pm #14645
I just found a victory bell at my parents house. It was giving to my mom by her brother in law. They are both English. My mom was 16 during WWII. It says at the bottom of the bell “Cast with metal from German aircraft destroyed over Britain 1939-1945” RAF Benevolent Fund. On the inside of the bell it say’s “The Bucks Diecasting Co.LTD. Burnham. So just wondering what kind of find we have?
October 18, 2012 at 9:06 pm #14646halanbParticipant
There seem to have been a number of manufacturers, but Bucks was the only one to place their name on the bell. If you Search at top right of this page for “victory bell” you will see all the postings on this website.
For a comprehensive article, see:
If your bell follows the normal pattern(s), it will have a Dome top with a Spade or Mushroom handle.
Please write back if it does not fit that pattern.
If you can post one or more pictures, that would be appreciated.
October 19, 2012 at 2:18 am #14647
My bell is a dome with a spade handle. The handle also is a separate piece from the bell. I will post a photo later. Not sure what we have but feel like it is something special.
October 20, 2012 at 8:03 pm #14648
I was asked to post a couple of photo’s. Can’t figure it out. Please help.
March 29, 2013 at 3:51 pm #14649brentjoanParticipant
I also have a victory bell. I was looking on ebay for a price to list it at and ended up reading and reading some more. So here I am and I think I have a rare type of bell with a different shape and dot dot dot on the top handle. I am interested in selling mine but have seen prices from $30.00 to $375.00.
March 29, 2013 at 9:05 pm #14651
March 30, 2013 at 2:29 am #14650brentjoanParticipant
Yes read that one thanks. Mine is exactly like the last one in the article. Seems to be somewhat rarer than most. Very interested in selling if there is a collector of these…Joan from Canada
March 31, 2013 at 3:56 am #14652
Chuckle, Of course there are collectors of those!
This whole site is full of them, myself included!
If you are looking for some free advice (and you do get what you paid for some times!) I’ll throw my two cents in.
The way I see things, (for myself too!), you have a number of choices.
Pick a price and post it in the bells for sale forum such as on this site. – advantage – you get to keep the whole payment, disadvantage – you may not get as high a price as elsewhere.
Offer it on an online auction site. – advantage – you may get over the highest price, if you get a bidding war, disadvantage – you may be selling under what you wanted or not sell, and have to pay fees to the site.
Offer it on a physical auction site. – pretty much the same as the above for advantages/disadvantages.
Offer it to a consignor or antiques shop – advantage: generally should get a sale Disadvantage: you have to pay for service or will have to settle for about half price, as these folks want to make money too!
Offer it to a museum. Advantage: you have your name as donor and know that others will enjoy looking at it; Disadvantage: no money for you usually.
Remember that the prices you see around on these bells are based on rarity in that specific area, financial stability of the buyer and the area he/she lives in, and market conditions. These all fluctuate, sometimes greatly, at any given moment.
Basically, you should look at what you got it for, and what you value it at to keep and not sell, to figure out what you would feel comfortable selling it for. Yes, you will likely always be able to get more, but then be prepared to wait a long time and spend lots of effort (and maybe money) to find that particular buyer! If you got what you believe to be reasonable for your investment, and are comfortable with the price, then be happy! If someone else can make a few more dollars off it, good on them. If you are worried about selling a $10,000 treasure for $100 because you didn’t recognize it, then remember how unlikely that is. Yes it has happened, and TV shows take great joy in pointing it out, but notice that there are more people on TV who win a lottery than there are for selling something that far under priced. Yet how many significant lotteries have you won? Or anyone around you? And if there is even less of a chance of making the mistake of selling that under valued than wining a lottery, why worry about it?
Yes you have a nice bell. Be reasonable in your price and it will sell quickly. Be high in your price and it will sell slowly. Be unreasonable in your price and be prepared to enjoy looking at it for a long long time!
Good luck with your sale!
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