#MuseumFromHome – Day 210

Posted by Tenby Museum on Nov 4, 2020 Blog No Comments

Day 210 of our #MuseumFromHome project and today we look at a post-medieval crotal bell. This is made from a cast metal, on a presentation stand (handmade). It was found by found by Edward Laws in Dale in the 19th century.

Crotal bells were commonly attached to horse drawn vehicles in order to warn people of their approach. Produced in various sizes they were also attached to livestock or hawks and much small bells were also worn as a dress accessory. The earliest crotal bells in Britain date from the 13thcentury. Single cast crotal bells of this type are thought to be post-medieval in date

This type of crotal bell would have been attached to small mammal livestock.

Bells made in this way (one piece) are readily identifiable by the two ‘sound holes’ in the upper half of the body. These are, in fact, primarily to facilitate positioning of the core, rather than for transmission of the sound. The two-part moulds for bells of this type are split at the girth rib on the bell, and consequently there are no vertical mould-joint lines evident on them. The girth rib serves the useful purpose of accommodating any minor misalignment between the two halves of the mould, as well as strengthening the bell and retaining the traditional appearance of those with a soldered joint. From the 16th century, the one-piece cast crotal rendered most other types of construction obsolete.