Dating antique sleigh bells
These are the petal, raspberry, and acorn designs. Freshly polished new bell with a bright yellow-gold color. I warned you that this article included things you never knew you never knew. When I use the term "antique" on this website, I am specifically talking about bells made during the "horse and buggy times". Antique British fish-scale bells aka raspberry bells. This rule of thumb works for petal bells, but does not apply to other styles of bells. The sound of harness bells became inextricably linked with winter activity, especially around Christmas, and an icon was born. Larger modern and antique petal bells are sized quite differently. Individual specialty antique bells can still be found with fish-scale or ornate petal designs, but these are much less common.
The lower half of the right-hand bell is discolored, but very smooth with absolutely no scratches, dings, or other signs of use. This rule of thumb works for petal bells, but does not apply to other styles of bells. This scarcity is a great incentive to turn modern versions of these bells into "instant antiques" and sell them for steep antique prices. The bell has that tell-tale rusty color. The oldest sleigh bells the average person is likely to find typically date from the late s through about Check for any maker's marks if you think it could be valuable, so you can look up what they sell for. Raspberry and acorn bells Antique "raspberry" bells and "acorn" bells are unusual and highly collectible. The process of metal stamping revolutionized the bell-making industry as well as the tonal qualities! These are the petal, raspberry, and acorn designs. This color can be produced quickly by using an antiquing agent or slowly by natural exposure to air. Most of these multiple-throat bells were stamped rather than cast, allowing for new and unusual shapes. Another golden-brown unpolished antique bell with attractive dark design. Gently polished antique bells of any style tend to have a brownish gold or rosy gold color, sometimes with splotches of darker color. All new bells are butter-yellow in color when polished. Notice the bell pins in the background. The coating of grime is so thick the design is obscured. Crotal bells for harness purposes are commonly seen in a few shapes: New raspberry bell on a recycled leather strap. An exception to these rules is the Swedish bell, typically a very large bell up to two or three inches in diameter. 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. Body straps can come in the New England style, in which all of the bells are the same size, or the graduated style, in which bells get smaller as you travel down the strap. The sound of harness bells became inextricably linked with winter activity, especially around Christmas, and an icon was born. Artificially aged new bells have a splotchy, rusty color that are never seen on antique bells. Antique British fish-scale bells aka raspberry bells. Early bells late s through about The very earliest North American horse bells date to the s and s. Machine-stamped bells are butter-yellow in color.
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