There are many styles and designs of antique dinner bells. From dainty Victorian silver table bells to large country farm bells, from unique salt and pepper shaker set dinner bells to Western iron triangles, each one treasured by the family that it summoned to dinner in years past.
Antique Victorian Dinner Bells
Dinner bells of the Victorian era are elegant representations of the times. Sterling silver, detailed repousse designs and fine silver beading are common in the finely detailed dinner bells of this period in time.
A beautiful example of an unusual sterling silver and silver plate Victorian dinner bell is an elegant tong holder with dinner bell. Dated 1863, this unique piece was designed to hold sugar cubes in the center. The handle held four dainty sugar tongs from the spokes. When the center handle is pushed down, the hidden bell underneath would sound the call to dinner or tea. This exquisite antique Victorian dinner bell, priced at $595, has detailed heads in the base and rests on ball in claw feet.
Another excellent example of an antique Victorian dinner bell is this elaborately designed repousse dinner bell made by Gorham in the late 1800s or early 1900s. The underside of this finely detailed dinner bell is engraved with the words Old Florentine Bell and Gorham Co. 015.
Replica Antique Victorian Dinner Bells
Made in true Victorian dinner bell style, this handmade miniature sterling silver bell is a true example of gorgeous detailed Victorian design. Another handmade example of Victorian style is also a miniature bell. These tiny bells show the ornate scroll work, embedded Marcasite gems and sterling silver clapper and wire that are all true to the Victorian style.
Porcelain and Glass Dinner Bells
In years past it was not unusual for a butler or maid to be summoned by the ring of a dinner bell. This was the signal from the homeowner that the guests were ready for dinner to be served. Many of the dinner bells of long ago were made of fine porcelain, crystal, china or glass. The following are several examples of these types of dinner bells.
- Made in Japan in the 1920s, a porcelain figural dinner bell depicts a young Asian girl.
- An Antebellum Lady figural dinner bell made from Vaseline slag glass.
Antique Country Farm Dinner Bells
When dinner was ready on the farm, the large cast iron dinner bell was rung to call everyone to the table. In today's marketplace there are many replicas of farm dinner bells. To help determine if a farm bell is a replica or an original check the casting edge. Older bells will show wear and a thinning of the casting edge due to age and use. Antique bells were generally cast as one piece and will not have a parting line from a mold. Newer bells are usually cast using a two part mold. These antique replica bells show the typical design of post mounted farm dinner bells
Each antique dinner bell has a unique character and charm of its own. Adding one to your dinner table is a fun way to bring a small piece of history into your home. .