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Crotal bells Greek 'crotalon' - castanet or rattle are various types of small bells or rattles. They were produced in various Pre-Columbian cultures. In Europe they were made from probably before the early Middle Ages and though many founders cast bells of this type, the Robert Wells bell foundry of Aldbourne, Wiltshire produced the largest range. The first medieval designs came in two separate halves into which a metal pea was introduced and the two halves were then soldered or crimped together. Somewhere around they were cast in a single piece with a ball of metal inside.

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We welcome people of many beliefs and backgrounds into the holy space of worship, and pray that you will find justice and peace wherever Spirit leads you. Joomla template created with Artisteer. Pasture TM. Size Dia. Crotal Bell. Copper Alloy - Iron. Dating Mark.

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Pink Wellies. Dating - Crop. Since the 18th century, sheet-metal bells have been produced by a die-forming process, rather than the metal being hammered into a mould. As the method of manufacturing the one-piece bell has changed little since the Tudor period, the determination of their chronology is dependent on differences of detail, rather than basic manufacturing concept. Close dating is often difficult, unless the bells can be associated with a maker whose period of operation is known from documentary sources.

This is rarely the case prior to the late 17th century, when some makers began to put their initials on the bells. The following details are helpful in determining an approximate date. Suspension Loops The suspension loop on the earliest one-piece crotal bells was cast as an integral solid lug and drilled afterwards as a separate operation. The sprue will have extended from the top of the lug, and will have been cropped as part of the fettling process. The accompanying illustrations show some early suspension loops of this type, and an outline drawing of the top of a typical pattern used to produce the mould.

Bells with suspension loops of this type are likely to date from the 16th to the mid 17th century. During the 17th century, an innovation in the production process eliminated the need to carry out a drilling operation.

The sand in the upper moulding box was packed around the pattern see drawingwhich was then withdrawn, as normal, from the underside. The detachable sprue- piece, however, was withdrawn from the top of the mould, leaving a core of sand to create the aperture. Bells with lugs produced in this way are identifiable by their uninterrupted spherical profile forming the base of the aperture, which can no longer be round.

There is also little or no fillet radius where the lug joins the bell, as this would have prevented withdrawal of the sprue-piece without damaging the mould. There were not any further fundamental changes in the process of casting crotal bells of this type, but the suspension loops tended to become proportionally larger during the 18th century, and they often have a more angular appearance.

They remained this way until the traditional design was largely superseded by a new style of horse bell in the midth century. Note : It is sometimes said that the suspension loops of later crotal bells, of the type described immediately above, were separately cast.

This is certainly possible, but I have found no evidence to support it on those that I have examined.

Jun 17,   a "Crotal Bell Factoid Sheet" is also something I posted here a while back from my researches (yep you can search for it too!) including how to read the numbers. It's about 4 pages back in the crotal search now, I believe. The fact that the piskie is attached to the bell would also indicate that this too was thought to provide some sort of protection. Occasionally a crotal bell would have been given to a bride and groom on their wedding day as it was meant to bring good luck to the marriage . Home > Learn more > Dating bells Dating Bells Early bells (late s through about ) The very earliest North American horse bells date to the s and s. These incredibly rare bells have been uncovered by archaeologists at the sites of early European settlements along the eastern seaboard of North America and along the paths of.

It is also difficult to imagine why a manufacturer would complicate the process by producing additional moulds and adding a brazing or soldering operation. It is true, however, that some modern crotal bells are made this way in order to fit ornamental handles. Decoration Post-medieval crotal bells may be either plain or decorated, and decoration may be applied to both the upper and lower hemispheres, or to the lower hemisphere only.

The second most likely form of on both hemispheres decoration to be found is the fish-scale pattern. This was used during the early part of the post-medieval period, but is rarely, if ever, found on bells made after the 17th century.

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It is often used to decorate the lower hemisphere of the bell, in combination with a sunburst design on the upper hemisphere. As indicated, the sunburst design occurs in various varieties, and some interesting geometric patterns are to be found. These are discussed in detail below.

Bells that are decorated only on the lower hemisphere tend to be of later date, usually late 18th to mid 19th century.

Those with no decoration also usually date to this later period.

Metal Detectiing a 1700's Hot spot finds amazing crotal bell and relics

There are, however, exceptions to this general rule, and plain bells of early post-medieval date are also known. All the indicators discussed should be taken into consideration when dating a bell. It should also be noted that the decoration can often have a very worn appearance, and is sometimes barely discernible. It seems unlikely that such wear occurred in use, and it is probably mostly due to the use of worn-out patterns.

Metals In the absence of analytical information, any comment on the composition of the metal from which cast crotal bells were made is inevitably speculative. The latter were often marked with the name of the founder and the date of manufacture, and as many of the bells have remained in service over the centuries, these details are available and have been recorded for the benefit of researchers. Using this information in conjunction with that from documentary and other primary sources, it is sometimes possible to relate makers to crotal bells that bear their initials.

However, it is necessary to sound a note of caution, as simply matching a pair of initials to the name of a founder can easily result in misattribution if there is no corroborative evidence.

It is estimated that about bell foundries have operated in Britain since the middle of the 13th century, varying in size from cottage industry operations to major businesses.

The number in operation at any one time rose steadily from approximately five in to a maximum of nearly sixty aroun and then progressively declined to just two at the beginning of the 21st century. Not all bell foundries will have made crotal bells, of course, but the scope for errors of attribution will be apparent from the statistics.

Table 1 below is an alphabetical list of initials that have been confirmed either by direct examination of crotal bells or photographs of them. It also shows the names of founders attributed to them and the related foundries and approximate dates of operation. Many other initials are mentioned in the works consulted, and a number are attributed to founders, but where it has not been possible to trace an example of the bell, they have been omitted. The list is therefore inevitably incomplete, and will be extended as more information becomes available.

Table 2: Foundry and Founder Details. They may, however, have operated independently, or Read might have succeeded Stares.

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The Wells Foundry was established in by Robert I b. Robert I ran the foundry until his death inat which time, he was working jointly with his son, Robert II b. Robert II was joined by his younger brother, James b. For some time, the business did very well under James, but circumstances changed, and in it went bankrupt and was sold to Thomas Mears II of the Whitechapel Foundry.

Edne Witts was born about His family had lived in Aldbourne since the middle of the 17th century, and had introduced fustian weaving to the village. Edne was also a fustian weaver, as well as a bell-founder. From two church bells, he is known to have been founding in an but probably ceased some time before his death in It is possible that earlier members of the family were involved in bell founding, or that the initials on the earlier and cruder bells are those of an unrelated maker.

The William Gwynn listed was born in and died in James Bridgman was born in Aldbourne aboutand originally worked for the Wells Foundry. When Wells went bankrupt inhe was offered employment at the Whitechapel Foundry, and worked there for three years.

Inhowever, he decided to return to Aldbourne and establish his own business, as both bell-founder and bell-hanger. The business operated untilwhen he had a serious accident while hanging some bells.

He died in The Chertsey foundry was established inwhen the Eldridge family moved from Wokingham. Brian I d. Gloucester has a long history of bell- making, which dates back to at least the 13th century, when 'John of Gloster' is recorded as a bell-founder. However, it came into prominence under the Rudhall family, which had bell-foundries there for years. A bell-founder named Thomas Swain, descended from William Eldridge of Chertsey, was working in London during the second half of the 18th century.

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His name appears on some church bells cast between and William Dunn was born c. The Whitechapel Foundry was established inand is still in producing bells. In fact, it is possible that a direct link goes back even further, towhen Robert Chamberlain was casting in Aldgate. The earliest known bell was cast by master founder, Robert Mot, in The foundry has occupied its present premises sinceand has produced bells of all sizes, including church bells, which have been exported around the world.

The Wells Foundry of Aldbourne and the Rudhall Foundry at Gloucester were both purchased and integrated into the Whitechapel organisation. It is said that the Knight family first became involved in bell-founding at Reading inbut the earliest member traced here is William, operating from the s. Two other early bell-founders of the town, John Sanders and Joseph Carter are also listed, the second of whom moved to Whitechapel Foundry in Henry Pleasant cast a great number of bells for Essex and Suffolk churches, and is noted for his rhyming couplets on them.

Thomas Gardiner moved to Norwich inbut returned to Sudbury in Little is known, but the founders listed were working in the town during the 18th century. The history of a foundry at Wokingham dates back to circaand for most of the 15th century, the Landen family was responsible for casting a large proportion of southern England's church bells.

Thomas Eldridge probably served his apprenticeship at the Reading foundry. He established the family business in Wokingham when he took over the foundry at Smyths Place in The first record is ofwhen William Seller is mentioned as having a foundry in Jubbergate.

William was succeeded by his son, Edward I, who, on his death inleft the foundry to his sons, Richard and Edward II.

Tag: crotal Navigation menu File usage on Commons. Date s dating discovery: Dating 5th May. Pasture TM. Size Dia. Crotal Bell. Copper Alloy - Iron. The Chronology and Dating of English Crotal Bells. General. The earliest crotal bells found in England date to the beginning of the 13th century. They are of tin and were cast as open bells with an integral suspension loop and four 'petals' forming the lower body. Although it is often stated that the crotal bell is much older, it is difficult to find any reliable evidence of its existence prior to the medieval period. The earliest dateable examples identified while carrying out research for the present article are some of the 9th century AD, recovered from female graves in .

Richard only survived his father by a few months, and Edward II ran the foundry alone until his own son, John, joined him in The two men worked together until the late s, when Edward II retired and it was decided to close the foundry. The locations and related family members are shown below.

It will be noted that some family members are associated with more than one foundry. Manufacture of the One-Piece Crotal Bell The following paragraphs are based on an article published in Rescuing the Past Countryman Books,in which the process used by the Whitechapel Foundry to mould and cast one-piece crotal bells is described in detail.

The moulding box with the oddside cup is then turned over, and the pattern for the bell is placed in the cup. A second moulding box is placed on top of the first one and guide pins are fitted to ensure that there is no lateral movement between the two boxes when they are dissembled and reassembled. Moulding sand is then added to the upper box, rammed tightly around the pattern and levelled at the top of the box. At the next stage the moulding box with the oddside cup is removed.

It can be used repeatedly for other moulds, as it is not destroyed in the process. The second moulding box with the pattern in place is then turned over, and an empty box placed on top of it.

This Crotal bell was the largest offered by the Robert Wells bell foundry of Aldbourne, Wiltshire. Crotal bells were extremely popular from at least the early medieval period and although many. Jun 09,   How to date crotal bells by the different processes of manufacture from the 13th to the 17th century. Crotal bells (Greek 'crotalon' - castanet or rattle) are various types of small bells or rattles. They were produced in various Pre-Columbian Europe they were made from probably before the early Middle Ages and though many founders cast bells of this type, the Robert Wells bell foundry of Aldbourne, Wiltshire produced the largest range. The first medieval designs came in two.

This, in turn, is filled with moulding sand, rammed and levelled flush with the box. The completed mould is turned over and the two boxes are separated.

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The pattern is removed, the sprue-piece being withdrawn from the top of the mould, and the body of the bell from the underside. A spherical sand core produced in a core-box and with an embedded iron pellet, is then placed in the lower half of the mould. It is supported on the ridge of sand that forms the sound bow of the finished bell. The upper half of the mould is then carefully lowered on to the lower half. A pouring cup is positioned on top of the completed mould, which is then placed on a bed of sand reading for casting.

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Molten metal is poured into the mould, which is then allowed to cool. It is then opened, the bell removed and excess metal trimmed from the sprue-piece. The core is removed as loose sand through the upper holes and sound bow, leaving the iron pellet trapped within the bellchamber.

Finally, the bell is fettled and wire-brushed to complete the process. General Information. Mission statement. Recording guidelines. Photography tips. Scanning tips.

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Uploading a coin. Uploading an artefact. Search tips. Site map. News releases. Contact us. Ceejay's website. Privacy policy. Copyright information. The hobby and its detractors. A-S strap-end mods.

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Barrel padlocks. Button makers. Crotal bells. Edwardian farthings. Edwardian halfpennies.

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Edwardian Pennies. Galley halfpence. Gunter's chain. Harness pendants. Long Cross Pennies. Nuremberg jetons. Pocket sundials. Roman seal boxes. Seal matrices. Andrew Gurney. Late 17th century.

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Edward Read. Edne Witts. Gerald Tarleton. Henry Pleasant. James Bridgman. Iohn Doole. John Doole. Uncertain See under Misc. John Higden. IL Wigan. John Latham.

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Joseph Wallis. Richard Eldridge. Early 17th century. Thomas Swain. William Dunn. London -Bloomsbury. William Gwynn. William Seller. Table 2: Foundry and Founder Details Foundry.

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