Dating antique sleigh bells
BRONZE AND BRASS Bells made of bronze and brass are highly collectable, especially if they’re very early and in good condition.
Many of them have been found by metal detectorists in England.
His mother would ring the bell to summon the doctor home if his services were needed in an emergency, as well as to let husband and son know lunch or dinner was about to be served.
The bell probably was a school bell, as it had a wooden handle like most school bells from the early 20th century.
Its style dates back hundreds, if not thousands of years.
This particular one, made of bronze, dates to the late 18th century, bears the initials of the maker — “L A” — and is either American or English.
Revere bells are considered rare; few were made and few survived from the 18th century. Obviously, the earliest examples of bells are more desirable than those that were made later.
The small, round bell pictured here is referred to as a “crotal” bell.
Some also believe the sheep were lonely and the sound of the bells offered some “company.” These bells often have their original clappers.
They would be near impossible to lose, since the opening in the bells is not that wide.
CONSISTENT STYLE This style bell has changed very little since the 16th century, making it difficult to pinpoint the appropriate date it was crafted.
I base my approximate date on the piece’s characteristics, since it does not show too much wear for a bell that would date prior to the 18th century.
Some of these petals displayed dagger shapes, some had “O” shapes in the middle of the petals, others displayed the name of the maker.