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The earliest bells of this type have several moulded parallel ribs around the circumference, both vertically and horizontally. On larger vehicles, such as delivery wagons, they were driven into the wooden frame of the wagon. Prior to becoming fashionable, the wearing of bells as a dress accessory was limited to jesters, acrobats, pilgrims and priests. The following details are helpful in determining an approximate date.
Somewhere around they were cast in a single piece with a ball of metal inside. 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.
This type was withdrawn complete from the underside of the mould. 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.
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 one-piece cast crotal bell represents a triumph of ingenuity, the manufacturing principle of which has not changed in years. The fillet radii between the lug and the top of the bell are often quite generous, and there is every indication that the pattern was made in one piece. The two-part moulds for bells of this type are split at the girth rib on the bell, and consequently there are no vertical mould-joint lines evident on them. Bells with lugs produced in this way are identifiable by their uninterrupted spherical profile forming the base of the aperture, redundante significado yahoo dating which can no longer be round.
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These are, in fact, primarily to facilitate positioning of the core, rather than for transmission of the sound. 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. It is presumed they functioned as a type of rattle.
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Bells of this type have been recovered from secure contexts that span the date range circa midth to midth century. These are bronze cylinders in the rough shape of a bull's testicle, with a piece of baked clay or a pebble inside.
They are known with domed as illustrated and conical upper bodies, and some have moulded decoration, while others are plain. The separate girth ribs on the two halves are also a good indication of the type. This enables the pellet to be placed inside the bell, and the splayed half to be squeezed together to retain it. The form is approximately spherical, but, as cast, the bottom half of the bell chamber is splayed. The detachable sprue- piece, however, was withdrawn from the top of the mould, leaving a core of sand to create the aperture.
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. One exception was the sheet-metal type, which, has been produced ever since for hawking bells, pet bells and other uses where a small size and lightness are key considerations.
Close dating is often difficult, unless the bells can be associated with a maker whose period of operation is known from documentary sources. Examples dating from the later end of this period have been found suspended from necklaces and possibly bracelets. The rounded ends of the sound bow are often very close to, or interrupt, the girth rib.
Later ones are often plain, but some have moulded decoration of various forms. They were produced in various Pre-Columbian cultures. It also makes support of the core within the mould relatively easy. They were often made of bronze with a slot cut down the side. Only two other examples are known, both Irish.
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