I purchased a bell collection at an estate sale recently and this bell was in with them. It is made from bronze and has these unusual markings on it. It measures about 10 inches long and has 5 bells on it. Can anyone here tell me what it is and how old it is? http://i729.photobucket.com/albums/ww297/bear433/041.jpg
This is a bronze mirror. It is a reproduction of an ancient Indian Mirror/Rattle. I have one just like it. The polished side of your mirror is still rough and has not been polished, so it has not been used as a mirrior. Similar mirrors are seen in ancient Egyptian and other Southwest Asian cultures during the bronze age, ~1000 BCE. The fact that the mirror surface has not been polished speaks against its antiquity.
Harry Long, MD
I just came across a photo of this bell in the American Bell Association’s publication, The Bell Tower from Jan-Feb 1993. Beside it is written:
Fig. 82: Mirrors are associated with the mythological past of Japan, for the mirror is one of the three treasures symbolizing the imperial throne, going back to the 8th century. The addition of flattened crotals around the circumference of the mirror probably added to their religious significance in warding off evil. Ours is a fairly modern copy. The originals must have been polished to a high enough sheen to be reflective.