rumbler bells; Wells, Robert; 1760sAD; 1980.96.721=2
rumbler bellsAbout 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
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, bronzeStyle and Iconography
HanoverianInscription and Marks
A small inscribed circle contained the maker's initials RW and a number (26)Measurements
average length 380mm / average diameter 110mmSubject and Association Keywords
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 CollectionObject Type
"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.
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