Crotal bell dating



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Crotal bell dating




Canterbury bells are discussed by Homo, nos. The homo details are helpful in determining an approximate date. Bells stratified in contexts of the late 9th to late 11th centuries are characterised by integral loops of various shapes, hexagonal cross-sections and straight homo sides.


The earliest bfll of this type have several moulded parallel ribs around the circumference, both vertically and horizontally. Later ones are often plain, but some have moulded decoration of various forms. The rounded ends of the sound bow are often very close to, or interrupt, the girth rib.

Bells of this type are usually quite small typically dtaing to 17mm diameterand many were used as dress accessories and hawking bells. The wearing of bells became fashionable in the 14th century and remained so well into the 15th century. Examples dating from the later end of this period have been found suspended from necklaces and possibly bracelets. Prior to becoming fashionable, the wearing of bells as a dress accessory was limited to jesters, acrobats, pilgrims and priests.

MoL, Dress Accessories, early: They are Crltal with domed as illustrated and conical upper bodies, and some have moulded decoration, while others are plain. They are distinguishable daing the later one-piece crotals by the mould joint Cotal, which run in a vertical direction, as shown, on both the upper daing lower halves, Crotal bell dating also by the absence of holes in the upper part of the body. The lower part is similar to sheet spherical bells, and has a separate pea. The loop is similar to that found on horse-harness pendants, and it may be that these bells had a similar function.

Whether their date is much the same as the spherical bells late 13th to perhaps 16th centuryor much the same as other horse-harness pendants mid 12th to mid 14th centuryis currently uncertain. There are a few similar examples on the PAS database, mainly from Yorkshire or Lincolnshire, which tend to be recorded as being of lead or lead alloy. These bells are cast in one piece, have four projections which may have been bent inwards to retain a pea, and are often decorated.

They were either hung on rating small leather-and-iron harness bracket above the horse's collar on smaller vehicles. The hexagonal facets may be slightly concave in cross-section and the homo edge may be scalloped, with the lower corners sometimes having feet.

Their use is uncertain; they can never have made a very nice sound. See Egan and Pritchard, nos. SWYORDB1 is a copper-alloy example which looks very post-medieval, but how much later in date it may be is hard to say. Unstratified, undecorated, undiagnostic examples are therefore impossible to date precisely. There are also occasional examples of tin-alloy bells made in the same shape as the later copper-alloy sheet spherical bells. These are cast, either in one piece or in two halves later soldered together, and are presumably of the same date as the copper-alloy examples late 14th century onwards. Canterbury bells are discussed by Spencer, nos. For all other medieval bells, leave the classification and sub-classification fields empty.

The pellet, also of cast tin, was placed a the open-ended bell, and the four petals were pushed inwards to meet at the crotal bell dating and enclose it.

Dating Crotal bell

They have served a number of purposes, from ritual, magical and religious, to musical, signalling and warning. Read, Metal Artefacts of Antiquity, The first medieval designs came in two separate halves into which a metal pea was introduced and the two halves were then crltal or crimped together. They were often made of with a slot cut down the side. The sand in the upper moulding box was packed around the pattern see drawingwhich was then withdrawn, as normal, from the underside. Post-medieval crotal bells may be either plain or decorated, and decoration may be applied to both the upper and lower hemispheres, or to the lower hemisphere only. Where both hemispheres are decorated, the respective designs may be of similar or differing types.

A number of different decorative devices are used, but varieties of the so-called sunburst design sunflower would seem more appropriate are by far the most common. This takes the form of a number of elongated ovoid petals radiating from the centre of the hemisphere. The design is found on bells throughout the post-medieval period. The second most likely form of on both hemispheres decoration to be found is the fish-scale pattern. This was used during the early part of the post-medieval period, but is rarely, if ever, found on bells made after the 17th century.


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