Why I collect bells
May 20, 2006 at 9:09 pm #10476Peter HydeMember
As a new member I thought I would share some thoughts with my new friends. Many years ago I visited the Cornille Havard Bell Foundry in France. I was fascinated. I wondered where the bells would end up. Who would be present when they were rung. How many generations would listen to them, what kind of lives they would live. I bought a 4 inch diameter handlebell as a memento. It is a beautiful bell with a magnificent ring that lingers only as bell metal can. Today I have a still growing collection of bells. I am aiming to build a collection demonstrating the variety of purposes for which bells are used and to have examples of the work of famous foundries around the world, past and present. I particularly enjoy contacting foundries around the world, agreeing the bell’s features and the delight of the parcel arriving. All my bells are mounted on plinths made for me by a local woodturner. My favourite Foundry is Whitechapel in London. I have some of their bells and they do a wonderful job of restoration of old bells. I often ask myself why I collect bells. I guess I love the look, the sound and the feeling of owning my own little bit of history. I have had great fun seeking out bells, researching their story, looking after them and enjoying them with my visitors. But then why do we collect anything? Because we enjoy it. What other excuse do we need?! I gave the little Cornille Havard bell to my daughter to take back to New York. The space is now occupied by a 6 inch version of the same bell!
January 10, 2008 at 5:21 am #12801Holly BarnesParticipant
I appreciate your story. It’s funny how each person can start collecting in a completely different way. My husband started our collection by bringing home a bell he bought at a garage sale and telling me it was for my collection. For a long time we were in denial who’s collection it really was. Each time we were asked we would say it belonged to the other. As time went on we got so we really enjoyed looking for bells we did not have. Any time we went on a vacation we would look for bells in the local antique or second hand store. We have finally embraced our addiction.
The propriator of the antique store that we frequent sees us and points and says ding-a-lings. It’s all in good fun.
May your bells ring in joy and your clangers never fall out! 😛
January 10, 2008 at 5:31 am #12802Peter HydeMember
I’d forgotten about my early post!
I’ve been a bit quiet on the forum lately. I’m still surrounded by my bells in this little room. Each with it’s memory. I’ve called a halt to additions for the time being. No more room. It’s got to be one in, one out, from now on. Trouble is, will I be able to part with any? I doubt it!
Now thinking of bells – perhaps I could add sounds to my bell blog.
There, now you have got me going again……….
January 10, 2008 at 8:44 pm #12803Holly BarnesParticipant
Thanks for the note. I know what you mean with the room thing. My youngest child got married two and a half years ago and we have converted his room into “the bell room”. We have collected a wide assortment.
From your explination It sounds like you have mostly metal bells. Would that be a true statment?
I have more glass than metal. I enjoy the vast number of different Fentons. Mostly I just pick them out because I like them. Believe me it is much different than the days when we would go to garage sales and see how many we could find on a given weekend. The number of bells would rate the successfulness of the weekend. 😀 “It was a 12 bell weekend” 😆 . Now I try to keep it a little more mellow.
All in all it’s just good fun.
Thanks again for the note. E-mail me any time I would be glad to hear from you.
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