We have for sale a set of antique rump strap bells, totally intact on their original leather strap. There are a couple of petals that are bent slightly. The Rump Strap notes a small amount of space ove Set of 5 brass bells. Each program is embossed with the King's Lancaster. Owner has researched and has not found any with this type of embossing.
This variation in color between adjacent bells would be unusual on an original strap of antique bells. Right: Artificially aged new bell with a tell-tale splotchy rusty color.
Left: Lightly oxidized new bell.
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Middle: New bell with a uniform dull-black artificial finish. Right: Side view of the same new bell on its weathered black strap. Unpolished antique bells of any style are brownish, blackish or greenish - occasionally grayish. The color will be fairly even over the surface of each bell, and all bells on a strap will have consistent coloring.
A tough layer of dirt and hardened harness oil often coats old, unpolished bells, making the surface of the bells dull and slightly rough to the touch and obscuring design details. This layer of grime cannot be reproduced by any aging technique that I know of.
Gently polished antique bells of any style tend to have a brownish gold or rosy gold color, sometimes with splotches of darker color. Antique bells often have a textured surface from the sand molds in which they were cast and from the dings and scrapes of long use.
This surface texture tends to darken the apparent color of the bell, even after it is polished.
Left: Antique bell gently polished to a soft gold with natural texture Middle: Antique bell with a light golden-brown natural oxidation and thin surface grime. Right: Antique bell showing a darker greenish-brown natural oxidation and grime.
Note the relatively even color. Left: Freshly polished antique bell. Note the surface texture and dark oxidation remaining in the "petal" design. Middle: Unpolished antique bell with an attractive golden brown color. The variation in color comes from normal handling.
Right: Another golden-brown unpolished antique bell with attractive dark design. Left: Polished bell dating to the early s with unusual "petal" design and maker's initials.
Middle: Greenish-brown antique bells. Note the variation in design but the similarity in color between these neighboring bells.
In Britain, a few horse bells dating to Roman times have been found. Sleigh bells became a part of popular culture, leading to songs, stories, and poetry about them. The most popular example is the song "One Horse Open Sleigh", known today as "Jingle Bells". It was written by James Lord Pierpont in Dec 16, Saddle & shaft bells: These are small collections of large bells intended to be attached to the wagon or sleigh directly. The name refers to where they are placed on the vehicle: the saddle bell is placed on the horse's back pad while the shaft bells are attached to the shaves of the wagon or sleigh.
Right: Deep greenish-black antique bell. The coating of grime is so thick the design is obscured. Compare the coloring of this bell with the dull-black new bell above. The classic "petal" bell is the sleigh bell most often sold as an "instant antique". There are several key characteristics that differentiate new petal bells from antique petal bells: the design of the throat slitthe quality of the ornamentation, and the size of the larger bells.
Throat design: If you take away just one idea from this article, remember this: An antique "petal" bell always has a larger rounded opening cast into each end of its throat slit.
Modern petal bells have a constant-width throat, with just a few rare exceptions.
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This rule of thumb works for petal bells, but does not apply to other styles of bells. Ornamentation: The ornamentation - the size markings and petal designs - on new bells will be blocky and plain, often coarse looking, with wide, deep lines. The ornamentation on an antique bell will be more crisp, ornate, and delicate. Study the photographs throughout this article to educate your eye on the differences. Left: Antique petal bell with a classic rounded opening at each end of its throat slit.
Dating sleigh bells
Middle and right : Modern petal bells do not have this rounded opening - the width of the throat is constant. See also the new and antique petal bells shown earlier in this article.
Sizing: Larger modern and antique petal bells are sized quite differently. See the differences between new and antique 15 bells below. Read Sizing bells for more details. Left: Two 15 bells, one antique left and one new right. A crack on the top of the antique bell has been repaired, so the numeral "1" in the "15" is not clear.
Right: The same two bells, turned around so the measurements can be more clearly seen.
Jun 17, › Bell Talk Forums › Small Bells › Crotal Bell Identification This topic has 1 reply, 2 voices, and was last ated 6 years, 10 months ago by Garry. Viewing 1 reply thread. Tucker's two patents describe the manufacture of a double-throat bell stamped from thick sheet bass. Tucker was awarded 21 design patents between an including the two for his sleigh bells. (15) Tucker, a prominent, respected citizen of Waterbury and an officer of the American Ring Company. Fakes III: Case Studies: How I evaluate sleigh bells and straps. Dating Bells: Estimate the age of sleigh bells. Sizing Bells: What does that number on a sleigh bell mean? Sleigh Bell Sound: Why do sleigh bells sound so distinctive? Training Your Horse to safely wear bells. History of horse & sleigh bells.
Antique "raspberry" bells and "acorn" bells are unusual and highly collectible. This scarcity is a great incentive to turn modern versions of these bells into "instant antiques" and sell them for steep antique prices.
Both styles of bells are still made, although with telling differences from the antiques. When turned into "instant antiques", new raspberry and acorn bells are usually darkened with a tell-tale rusty patina, and put on straps made of recycled leather.
Another telling clue about the modern raspberry and acorn bells is they have a shank base and are fastened onto their strap with figure-8 bell pins. In both Europe and the United States, sleighing became a popular form of recreation in the winter as well as a method of transportation in the nineteenth century. Therefore, horses and sleighs were turned out spotlessly with plenty of decoration, including rich strings of harness bells - again emphasizing the wealth and status of the owner.
The sound of harness bells became inextricably linked with winter activity, especially around Christmas, and an icon was born.
The sound of harness bells became inextricably linked with winter activity, especially around Christmas, and an icon was born. Bells were cast until the end of the s, when an American manufacturer developed a process to dating bells out of sheet metal, greatly attach the production space. The vast majority of horse and sleigh bells were made from about to about , perhaps as late as When in doubt, your bells are probably from this era. Here are some key features of bells made in the mid s through the early s: Bells smaller than about 1 3/4" diameter were made in many styles. Antique North American sleigh bells date from the s through the s. When I use the terms " new " or " modern " or " vintage " or " reproduction ", I am referring to sleigh bells made after the era of horse transportation - from the s through today.
Bells were cast until the end of the s, when an American manufacturer developed a process to stamp bells out of sheet metal, greatly expediting the production process. However, as horse-drawn transport faded with the advent of the automobile, so did the bell makers: only a handful of the old manufacturers are still producing the classic bells and many strings still used today are vintage relics from days gone by.
Individual makers aside, a bell is a bell, right? I warned you that this article included things you never knew you never knew. Shape: Crotal bells for harness purposes are commonly seen in a few shapes: round or egg-shaped bells were called arctic or globe bells by the makers. Round bells with a flared ridge were also popular.
Less common shapes include the bevel or band bell with a slightly pointed face; square bells look impressive but are said to sound absolutely terrible and are also quite fragile. Other specialty custom bell shapes include acorns or flower buds.
Antique Sleigh Bells
Traditional and authentic bells, with an open mouth and a clapper, were used on occasion and are still found on European working harnesses with one bell suspended between the hames.
Most of these multiple-throat bells were stamped rather than cast, allowing for new and unusual shapes.
An exception to these rules is the Swedish bell, typically a very large bell up to two or three inches in diameter. Their hefty size gives the Swedish bells a deep and loud tone.
As styles changed and stamped bells became vogue, bells were left undecorated and were polished to a shine. Individual specialty antique bells can still be found with fish-scale or ornate petal designs, but these are much less common. Construction: As mentioned above, harness bells were originally cast in brass. The process of metal stamping revolutionized the bell-making industry as well as the tonal qualities!