Dating antique hand bell clappers
They are of tin and were cast as open bells with an integral suspension loop and four ‘petals’ forming the lower body.The pellet, also of cast tin, was placed inside the open-ended bell, and the four petals were pushed inwards to meet at the centre and enclose it.They were found on chains suspended from chatelaine-type brooches, and appear to be of similar construction to English crotal bells dateable to the 13th century.It is worth mentioning that, depending on context, sleigh bells, jingle bells, pellet bells, hawk bells and rumbler bells are all terms used to describe bells of the crotal type.Here's a rare pair of treasures from Japan and an unusual find- excellent candidates to accent your indoor or outdoor garden space.
On the very earliest of this type, the loop was made of circular-section wire, which was inserted through a small hole in the top of the bell and its ends splayed in the manner of a modern split-pin.
Slightly later, a narrow strip of sheeting was used instead of wire, and was either fitted in the same way, or formed into a ring and soldered to the top of the bell as on the example illustrated.
Bells of this type have been recovered from secure contexts that span the date range circa mid-13th to mid-15th century.
They come complete with their original cloud motif clappers- very unusual for bells with this combination, age, and fine quality.
Used for temple services, these clappers are sometimes called Unban gong and are also hand made of bronze.