Crafts-Hobbies Vivian | 25 Mar 2011 07:26 pm

Collecting Antique Bells As Collectibles

Collectors of antique bells have learned there is a variety that can be found on any of on-line auction sites. Prior to purchasing from an on-line auction site collectors need to be able to carefully inspect the description and the photos provided they are bidding on to help ensure their authenticity.

If a collector has doubt about the authenticity of a bell, then the collector may want to have possibly another collector or may even an appraiser to examine the bell your plan to purchase to determine its value. Auction sites such as eBay can be a really reliable source for purchasing antique bells, but collectors may have more luck with purchasing bells from other antique bell collectors. By networking with other collectors your will be able to find other collectors with the same interest, who are willing to give you their advice.

Antique brass bells may tarnish, so collectors need to know the proper way to clean them to avoid damage. There are cleaners that are specially designed to remove the tarnish off of brass bells, however these cleaners are not recommended for cleaning your bells regularly due to the fact that they may cause damage to the finish. To clean bells that do not have any tarnish on them should be cleaned by using only a soft damp cloth and wiping the bells gently clean then allowing them to air dry. The use of lemon juice can be used for cleaning bells, but it is not recommended due to the damage that can be caused to the patina.

Determining when the bell has been made can be figured out by the thickness of the walls and the diameter of the bell. School bells and fire bells are relatively large compared to other types of bells like farm bells and dinner bells, especially since the diameter of school bells are up to twenty eight inches and fire bells can be greater then thirty inches. The thickness of the wall may also be used in determining if a bell was a school, farm, or church bell, because the thickness of school bells was usually a lot thinner than those of church bells or fire bells, which gave school bells a special sound.

Collectors of farm bells have learned that determining the authenticity can be challenging. However, collectors wanting to know if a bell is a genuine antique or just a replica can be found out by certain details, which is important due to authentic antiques that are in excellent condition are much more valuable than any type of replica. The authenticity of any bell can be found out through the softening of the casting edge due to older bells will show more wear around the edges. Antiques will not have a parting line due to fact that older bells were cast as only one piece where modern bells are made from a two part mold.

Having your bells appraised to determine the exact value of bells will aid in getting them insured. Collectors who are just starting out collecting may have several questions concerning the methods of actually figuring out the value of bells. Professionally having your bells appraised is the best way to determine the actual value which helps to keep one from overpaying and ensure that the collector is given a fair price. The American Bell Association has a website where collectors can post pictures of bells and request the determination of its value.

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