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Antique Bells - Collectible Bells - Vintage Bells

January 9th, 2012 Collectibles

Antique Dinner Bells on eBay

Collectors of antique dinner bells may find eBay is an excellent option for finding items to add to their collection. However, when making a purchase on eBay, it is important for the collector to carefully examine the description and photos for the item they are bidding on to ensure the authenticity of the item. If there is doubt about the authenticity of the item, the collector may want to have another collector or even an appraiser examine the bell up for auction to determine an appropriate value for the item.

While eBay can be a reliable source for antique dinner bells, collectors may have more luck through networking with other antique bell collectors. Joining clubs and attending meetings for bell collectors can put collectors in touch with others who share their interest.

Cleaning Antique Brass Bells

Collectors of antique brass bells should take care to clean the bells in their collection properly to avoid damage. Bells that are free from tarnish can be cleaned very simply by using a soft damp cloth to gently wipe the bell clean and then allowing the bell to air dry. The use of chemical products is not recommended for regular cleaner because it can cause damage to the finish.

Antique brass bells that are tarnished may require additional cleaning methods. In these cases the use of cleaners specifically designed to remove tarnish from brass objects may be necessary. Brasso and Barkeeper’s Friend are examples of two products that can be used for this purpose. There are some who believe lemon juice can be used for cleaning antique brass bells, but this is not recommended because it can damage the patina.

Comparing Antique School Bells and Fire Bells and Church Bells

It is usually rather easy to differentiate antique school bells from fire bells. This is because the differences can be divided into to very specific categories. Specifically, the diameter of the bell and the thickness of the walls of the bell can be used to determine whether an antique bell is a school bell or a fire bell.

Both antique school bells and fire bells were rather large in relation to other types of bells, such as farm bells and dinner bells. However, bells with a diameter of 20 inches to 28 inches are considered to be school bells while bells with a diameter greater than 30 inches are considered to be fire bells or church bells.

The wall thickness of the bell can also help the collector to determine whether it is a school bell, a farm bell or a church bell. The wall thickness of school bells is typically much thinner than the walls of fire or church bells. This gave the school bells a distinctive sound which prevented them from being mistaken for other types of bells.

Determining if Antique Farm Bells are Authentic

Determining the authenticity of antique farm bells may seem challenging but there are some details that can help the collector to determine whether a bell is a genuine antique or merely a convincing replica. This is important because an authentic antique in excellent condition will be significantly more valuable than a high quality replica.

Determining the authenticity of antique farm bells is similar to the process of determining the authenticity of other types of antique bells. The softening of the casting edge can often give a good indication of the authenticity of antique farm bells. This is because older items are much more likely to show wear around the casting edge. The existence of a parting line can also be used to determine whether a bell is an authentic antique or a replica. Antique will typically not have this line as they were cast as one piece while modern bells use a two part mold to create the body of the bell.

Having Vintage Bells Appraised

Collectors of vintage bells may often need assistance in determining the value of bells. This information may be for the purpose of having the items in their collection insured, for the purpose of selling items for a fair price or for the purposes of purchasing an item without overpaying. However, many novice collectors may have many questions about the methods for determining the value of a bell.

Having a bell professionally appraised is one of the best ways to determine the value of vintage bells. Highly a qualified and reputable appraiser can help the collector determine the value of bells in his collection or bells he intends to add to his collection.

Another option for approximating the value of vintage bells is seeking opinions from other collectors. There are online communities, such as the one at the American Bell Association International, Inc., where users can post pictures of bells and ask others to comment on the value of the bells. These opinions may be highly accurate but the collector should understand they may not be completely accurate and should defer to a professional appraiser when necessary.

Hummel Bell Collectibles at the Hummel Exchange

In 1978 M.I. Hummel began offering bell collectibles in their line. These bells feature the Hummel signature as well as the year the bell was released. The Goebel Trademark is also displayed on the bell. Collectors who are interested in these types of bells may spend time trying to find bells released in a specific year.

One convenient location for searching for bell collectibles from Hummel is through the Hummel Exchange website. This website brings collectors of Hummel items together and offers collectors the ability to search for specific items and purchase these items if they are available. The items for sale are typically from other collectors so there is no guarantee there will be another member currently selling the item the collectors is seeking, but it is an excellent first stop for collectors of all types of Hummel products.

Learning about Antique Ship Bells at The U.S. Navy Museum

Collectors of antique ship bells who have a particular interest in bells used by the U.S. Navy may find the U.S. Navy Museum in Washington, DC, to be an excellent source of information. This museum may not focus exclusively on bells but it does provide a great deal of information about the history of the Navy as well as access to experts who can answer questions on a variety of different subjects including the bells used on older naval ships.

The U.S. Navy Museum is open to members of the public by appointment. Additionally, admission is free and there is no cost for tours or programs. Interested collectors can schedule tours between 10 am and 2 pm on weekdays and between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. on weekends and holidays. Scheduling is done by calling the Director of Public Programs and making arrangements for the tours directly.

Learning the History of Antique Bells

The history of antique bells is a subject which may be of interest to avid collectors of all types of bells, as well as to those who are interested in starting a collection of bells. One of the most reliable ways to learn more about the history of bells as well as collecting bells is through participating in the American Bell Association International, Inc. This organization provides a wealth of information about all types of antique bells for collectors.

Additionally, there are a number of local groups organized through the larger organization which provide an excellent learning opportunity for collectors. There are a number of different chapters and club members hail from the United States, Canada, Argentina, Austria, France, Germany, Great Britain, India, Israel, Norway, Poland, Russia, South Africa, Switzerland, Turkey and Uruguay.

Meetings for Collectors of Antique Bells

Members of the American Bell Association International, Inc. have the opportunity to join local clubs with other collectors of antique bells. These meetings serve as an opportunity for antique bell collectors to network with other collectors, learn more about bells and even buy, sell or trade a variety of different bells. These clubs are open to members who have an interest in all types of bells.

During these meetings for collectors of antique bells the structure of the meeting may vary, but they usually encompass five main components. Most meetings have time for social interaction but also provide more structured segments including presentations, business discussion, display time and exchange periods. During presentations an expert or a member with a particular interest may share information on a specific subject related to collecting bells. During the business discussion the goals of the club are discussed. The display period offers members the opportunity to share bells from their personal collection and during the exchange period members may buy, sell or trade items in their collection.

Selling Antique Hand Bells

There are several factors a collector should consider before he begins selling the antique hand bells in his collection. These factors apply to selling hand bells as well as to selling any other type of bell which may reside in the collection. First, the collector should carefully consider the reason for selling the bells. Collectors may sell bells for profit or because the items are not an integral part of the collection. However, regardless of the reason, the collector should carefully consider whether or not selling the item is the best option.

Once the decision to sell a bell or bells from a collection has been made, it is important to create an accurate description of the item. If the authenticity has already been verified the description should specify how the item was verified and should provide adequate information for the potential buyers to make an informed decision about purchasing the bell.

Care should also be taken to price the bell appropriately. This is important because it will help to ensure the bell sells for a fair price. If the price is set too low the collector loses out on a higher profit. Conversely, if the price is set too high the collector may have a great deal of difficulty selling the item.

Types of Collectible Bells

There are a wide variety of collectible bells available. Some collectors may have an interest in any type of bell available while other collectors may focus their attention on a certain type of bell or bells from a particular time period.

The material of the bell is often one of the factors determining a collector’s interest. Collectible bells include bells of a variety of different materials including brass, bronze, ceramic, glass, crystal, porcelain and wood. Some collectors may only add brass bells to their collection while other collectors may have a collection of bells featuring many different materials.

The use of a bell is another factor that may interest collectors. Some examples of the types of bells collected include cow bells, farm bells, door bells, school bells, fire bells, nautical bells and church bells. Again collectors may focus on one type of bell or have their collection open to different types of bells.