rumbler bells; Wells, Robert; 1760sAD; 1980.96.721=2

From

Abingdon County Hall Museum

Name/Title

rumbler bells

About this object

Robert Wells made a number of rumbler (sheep) bells in the 1760s. They were all similar small spherical bells with a horizontal ridge with perforations below, and decorated with petals around the slot mouth. The clapper is an iron pellet suspended from a spiked iron arm by loop and split pin.

Maker

Wells, Robert

Maker Role

shepherd

Date Made

Hanoverian

Date Made

1760sAD

Place Made

England, Wiltshire, Aldbourne

Place Notes

The bells were stored in the thatch of a house in Fifield, Oxfordshire, England between 1900 and 1930. Previously they had been associated with Charlie Green, a prizefighter and waggoner from Bampton, Oxfordshire, England, sometime between 1820-1870AD.

Medium and Materials

iron / copper alloy, bronze

Style and Iconography

Hanoverian

Inscription and Marks

A small inscribed circle contained the maker's initials RW and a number (26)

Measurements

average length 380mm / average diameter 110mm

Subject and Association Keywords

Abingdon-on-Thames

Subject and Association Keywords

bell

Subject and Association Keywords

sheep

Subject and Association Keywords

iron

Subject and Association Keywords

bronze

Subject and Association Keywords

Hanoverian

Subject and Association Keywords

animal husbandry

Subject and Association Description

Wool was a major crop in this area. Sheep bells were used to help keep track of grazing flocks, but today there are fewer sheep, and newer crops such as oil seed rape are grown locally.

Collection

Abingdon County Hall Museum Collection

Object Type

bell

Object number

1980.96.721=2

Copyright Licence  

All rights reserved

johndymond 03 May 2013 22:03 PM,UTC

"The clapper is an iron pellet suspended from a spiked iron arm by loop and split pin." If this is true then this is a VERY unusual Wells rumbler! The clapper SHOULD be an iron ball which is embeddwed in the sand core of the mould before casting and so ends up free floating inside the completed bell. Incidentally there were TWO Robert Wells, father and son, who cast bells in Aldbourne from the 1760s through until Robert Junior's bankruptcy in 1824.

This object is from

Tags

18th century
bell
bronze
iron
rumbler
shepherding

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