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Bell Wheel Curious New England Item

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    Posted 11 years ago

    (2 items)

    I found this item in a NH barn of an antique's dealer. It is definitely hand made, and is functional. Dealers there think it could be 18oo vintage. No one that I have met has seen anything comperable or can
    (officially) pin a name on it or an exact vintage. The crack in the base suggests the wood has been around for quite a while, it is dry but quite solid. This falls into the mystery category. Perhaps someone out there can help me characterize it. It is about 3 feet tall, about 18 inches wide, and who ever made it made a small bench to sit on; I suppose while you crank the turn handle. Background wood pile gives some sense of size to it. I like it because it is different than anything I have seen and have a gut sense it could be colonial but wouldn't make that assertion. Comments very welcome.

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    1. blunderbuss2 blunderbuss2, 11 years ago
      The bells obviously have diff. sizes so maybe when you turn it, it plays a repetitive tune that would drive us crazy today but fun back then.
    2. phil1942, 11 years ago
      blunder... they do have different resonances. It is multi-toned, but I dont discern a repetitive pattern... more of a cacaphony but a pleasant one to my earl. It could be a dinner bell of some sort or a " cows come home" signal.... lol... we may never know. Someone went thru all the trouble to shape it and assemble it.
    3. blunderbuss2 blunderbuss2, 11 years ago
      Well, I think we know why there isn't one in every antique shop.
    4. Bonnie Bonnie, 11 years ago
      I like the idea of a dinner bell or how about a fancy one of a kind door bell?
    5. Bonnie Bonnie, 11 years ago
      Upon looking at the bells....are they marked inside with Bells of Sarna? I have my grandfather's Christmas Bells of Sarna. They look very much like yours. Hopefully this site will come through and maybe give some more insight or ideas.
      Good luck!
    6. Roycroftbooksfromme1, 11 years ago
      Years ago they used a big fog horn to help people who were lost up Mount Washington in the fog or dark of night ....They could hear it and walk to the sound ... When I worked on the rock the old fellas would tell me it drove them nuts and the towns around as well .Any ways ...what you have is neat ....
    7. Roycroftbooksfromme1, 11 years ago
      is that bolted to that milking stool ...hmmmmm bells to call in the cows in bad weather and feeding time...?
    8. blunderbuss2 blunderbuss2, 11 years ago
      Is that a milking stool? Kind of reminds me of a blind date in high school. She wasn't exactly knock-knee'd & not exactly bow-legged. It was like she had one of each! Sure hope she isn't on CW!
    9. eccentric1 eccentric1, 11 years ago
      Similar? (B&W pic in original post)

      Very cool find!

    10. phil1942, 11 years ago
      thanks for all your comments:
      -have climbed Mt. Washington a number of times
      -dont think Sana is inscribed but will look hard to see
      -there is a stool tht looks like it might be a milk stool that is part of it not think about funny dates...oh well
      -hard to tell about crank origin... looks like builder just crafted things or got things and fashioned the wood around them...
      -am very new to CW... thanks for the warm welcome.....
    11. blunderbuss2 blunderbuss2, 11 years ago
      I'm the local comedian. Don't let me scare you off. It was a true story!
    12. phil1942, 11 years ago
      hmmmm....local pretty robust, just new to this site.....
    13. blunderbuss2 blunderbuss2, 11 years ago
      Actually, I'm not a comedian. Just tell it as I see it with maybe a bit of background thrown in. LOL
    14. dawne12, 11 years ago
      It is a "gloria wheel" used to call people to mass without using the large tow
      er bells.
    15. dawne12, 11 years ago
      the link did not copy correctly. Here it is again.
    16. phil1942, 11 years ago
      dawne12, very thanks for the incredibly informative link. I remember those bells in church but the ones I had seen were highly polished and well made. It was revealing to see a picture of something similar in the link, although these that I have seem cruder and seem to have been improvised. Is there any way to assess the age or origin. Thanks again for your information... PHIL
    17. dawne12, 11 years ago
      This is a Catholic forum and this particular page mentions gloria wheels. They may be able to help. The fact that yours is not as polished could be due to the fact that it came from a smaller or less prosperous parish. Let me see if I can find anything else about dates.
    18. dawne12, 11 years ago
      So far I have only found two dates for gloria wheels and one is 1800 and one is 1900. Your local diocese may be able to help you figure out when your wheel was made.
    19. phil1942, 11 years ago
      dawne12, thank you sincerely for you effort to help me characterize the antique. Knowing that is it a gloria wheel really helps narrow the search. I feel there may be a history there that need uncovering. I will follow up on your suggestions.. Thank again, Phil
    20. dawne12, 11 years ago
      I ran across this. Perhaps he will be able to help you.
      This is about a reliquary, however he says he does answer questions and if he doesn't know he may be able to refer you to someone who could help.
    21. sarahoff sarahoff, 11 years ago
      It would make a lovely sounding waterwheel:) Maybe??

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